NC Center on the Workforce for Health

In early 2021, NC AHEC, NCIOM, and the Sheps Center Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy began developing a concept for a statewide center focused on the collaborative and comprehensive development of North Carolina’s workforce for health. As of September 2023, these coordinating organizations have convened five quarterly meetings aimed at collecting and integrating feedback from state health care leaders on the priority goals, activities, and organizational structure of a North Carolina Center on the Workforce for Health.

The NC Center on the Workforce for Health will provide a forum for health employers, workers, educators, regulators, policymakers, and others throughout North Carolina to convene, discuss challenges and opportunities, share best practices and lessons learned, identify potential solutions and metrics for success, and monitor progress toward addressing these challenges. North Carolina’s historic, persistent, and worsening health workforce shortages can best be addressed through intentional, transparent, and collaborative engagement by the communities interested in solving those problems. Although many organizations focus on health workforce development, that work typically is focused on a specific profession, geography, or institution.

• Provide a mechanism to ensure that efforts to address health workforce issues persist over time which will ultimately better align the supply of health workers with the demand for those workers.
• Convene employers, educators, workers, regulators, and others to develop, deploy, monitor, and assess efforts to address health workforce issues. Convenings will be at the state and local levels with bi-direction information flow.
• Gather and make available relevant data and policy, analyze, and synthesize that information to make it actionable, and provide technical assistance and guidance to interested parties when acting to address health workforce issues.
• Provide a forum for interested parties to share best practices and lessons learned.

Please see Related Links section below for additional resources, including Center on the Workforce for Health meeting minutes.

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Partner Organizations

The North Carolina Area Health Education Centers Program (NC AHEC) has worked for fifty years to recruit, train, and retain the health professionals needed to achieve our vision of a state where all in NC are healthy and supported by an appropriate and well-trained health workforce that reflects the communities it serves. With a focus on primary care in rural and under-resourced communities in all 100 counties, our work is divided into six service lines that span the workforce continuum: from exposing diverse youth to health careers through our Health Careers and Workforce Diversity service line; supporting students, post-licensure health care professionals, and medical residents through the Student Services and Graduate Medical Education service lines; to meeting the ongoing training needs of the current workforce through Continuing Professional Development, Practice Support, and Library Services. NC AHEC and Regional AHECs often serve as a convenor to address health workforce opportunities and assist in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of local and statewide workforce initiatives. 


The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) was chartered by the NC General Assembly in 1983 to serve as an independent source of analysis on major health issues facing the state. The NCIOM is a non-partisan, evidence-based, solution-focused, consensus-driven institute charged with improving the health of North Carolinians. Our mission is two-fold:  To seek constructive solutions to statewide problems that impede the improvement of health and efficient and effective delivery of health care for all North Carolinians; and to serve an advisory function at the request of the Governor, the General Assembly, and/or agencies of state government, and to assist in the formation of public policy on complex and interrelated issues concerning health and health care for the people of NC. 


The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research (Sheps) started in 1968 to improve the health of individuals, families, and populations by understanding the problems, issues, and alternatives in the design and delivery of health care services. Through an interdisciplinary approach of research, consultation, technical assistance, training, and dissemination, Sheps focuses on timely and policy-relevant questions concerning the accessibility, adequacy, organization, cost, and effectiveness of health care services. The Sheps Center houses 11 interdisciplinary research programs, including the Program on Health Workforce Research and Policy (PHWRP), which is focused on informing health workforce policy at the national, state, and regional levels. The PHWRP provides policymakers with evidence to inform decisions such as the establishment of new health professional schools and training programs, the designation of health professional shortage areas, and the implementation of interventions to encourage clinicians to practice in needed healthcare fields or underserved geographic areas. A subset of the PHWRP, Sheps Health Workforce NC, specializes in collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data on NC’s health workforce. Sheps Health Workforce NC initiatives include the NC Health Professions Data System and the NC Sentinel Network. 

Related Links


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Center on the Workforce for Health – Meeting Materials


Minutes from Inaugural Meeting – April 4, 2022

Minutes from Quarterly Meeting – July 13, 2022

Minutes from Quarterly Meeting – October 13, 2022

Minutes from Quarterly Meeting – January 31, 2023

Meeting Slides from Quarterly Meeting: Transforming Data into Action to Drive Workforce Policy and Planning in North Carolina – Fraher and McCartha – April 25, 2023

Meeting Slides from Quarterly Meeting – October 24, 2023





Additional Resources


North Carolina Nursing Supply and Demand – Across the state, nurses are helping people stay healthy. We forecast the future supply and demand of registered nurses and licensed practical nurses in North Carolina.


Health Workforce Sentinel Network North Carolina – The Health Workforce Sentinel Network links the healthcare sector with policymakers, workforce planners and educators to identify and respond to changing demand for healthcare workers, with a focus on identifying newly emerging skills and roles required by employers.


North Carolina Medical Journal Nov/Dec 2022 – The Workforce for Health in North Carolina


Recommendations on Increasing Nursing Graduates: In Response to SL 2022-74 (HB 103), Section 8.3, January 19, 2023


NC Chamber Foundation and Health Talent Alliance

The NC Chamber Foundation and the NC Center on the Workforce for Health are working to form a landmark partnership to aggressively tackle the state’s health care workforce shortages. The initiative will utilize principles of Talent Pipeline Management to build ROI-focused partnerships that align workforce programming with employer job demand. Read more. 


While there are a number of factors contributing to the workforce challenges in health care, a recent webinar, cohosted by the NC Chamber Foundation’s Institute for Workforce Competitiveness and the NC Center on the Workforce for Health, emphasized a bias for action on solutions. Specifically, attendees learned more about what it would look like to implement Health Talent Alliance (Talent Pipeline Management) across North Carolina to begin to tackle this shortage.


Landmark Partnership Will Tackle NC’s Health Care Worker Shortage May 3, 2023