Understanding America’s Most Popular States for Immigrant Healthcare Workers

May 16, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-healthcare

New York State ranks the highest on the Immigrant Healthcare Index, demonstrating its pivotal role in the employment and integration of immigrant healthcare workers, fouund a recent study.

These results are part of a new data study by Remitly, a financial payment providers, which examines the states leading in the integration and employment of immigrant healthcare professionals, with a particular focus on New York, New Jersey, and California.

The healthcare sector in the United States heavily relies on the contributions of immigrant workers, with  “Immigrants make up 18% of America’s practicing healthcare professionals.” 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released figures predicting that the US will struggle to meet its healthcare demands by 2031, facing a shortage of 195,000 registered nurses. Moreover, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that the US will see a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2034.

Therefore, the study aims to highlight the significant roles immigrants play in various healthcare professions, reflecting broader trends and specific state dynamics; but also understanding the ongoing trends.

 Key factors contributing to New York’s top position include:

  • Highest Percentage of Immigrant Healthcare Workers: New York boasts the largest proportion of healthcare workers who are immigrants, showcasing the state’s diverse workforce.
  • High Demand for Healthcare Jobs: The state also records the highest number of Google searches for healthcare jobs, indicating robust interest and demand within the healthcare sector.

In particular, New York leads in employing immigrant home health aides, with 74% of these workers being immigrants. This statistic underscores the state’s reliance on immigrant workers for essential caregiving roles, vital for supporting its aging population and those with chronic health conditions.

Immigrant Physicians and Surgeons

15% of physicians and surgeons across the United States are immigrants, a statistic that highlights the essential role immigrants play in providing medical expertise and services.

  • New Jersey: New Jersey stands out as the state with the highest percentage of immigrant physicians and surgeons, marking 37% of these professionals. A figure that the report says reflects New Jersey’s appeal and support for highly skilled medical practitioners from diverse backgrounds.

Home Health Aides and Registered Nurses

  • Home Health Aides: New York is the most popular state for immigrant home health aides, with 74% of these workers being immigrants. 
  • Registered Nurses: California leads in the employment of immigrant registered nurses, with 37% of its nursing workforce comprising immigrants.

Immigrant healthcare workers are indispensable to the U.S. healthcare system, bringing diverse skills and cultural perspectives that enhance patient care. New York’s top position on the Immigrant Healthcare Index reflects its significant role in integrating and employing immigrant healthcare professionals. Other states, such as New Jersey and California, also showcase substantial contributions from immigrant healthcare workers, particularly in specialized roles such as physicians, surgeons, home health aides, and registered nurses.

The data underscores the critical need for policies and practices that support the recruitment, retention, and professional development of immigrant healthcare workers, ensuring that the U.S. healthcare system remains robust and responsive to the needs of its diverse population.


The HR Observer

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