North Carolina’s Changing Health Care Workforce

Blog | May 13, 2019


Health care workforce training is constantly evolving. That’s why every few years the North Carolina Medical Journal takes the pulse of how our state’s educational institutions—from high schools to community colleges to medical schools—and health systems are preparing the health care workers of the future.


In this issue of the Journal, authors from across the state provide commentaries on the changing workforce pipeline, the advent of health care apprenticeships, the evolving role of the pharmacist, and more. The issue also includes a sidebar from a high school senior preparing for a career in neurosurgery, proving it’s never too early to start working toward a career in health.


The issue, outlined below, is guest-edited by Allison Abernathy, DNP RN, dean of health and human services at Gaston College in Dallas, North Carolina; and Julie Byerley, MD, MPH, executive vice dean and professor of pediatrics at UNC.


“In North Carolina, thanks to our many health profession schools and our strong public higher education system, we are poised for progress,” write Abernathy and Byerley. “However, while educational innovations and pipeline programs into the health professions may effectively produce the professionals we need to serve the population…health professionals recognize that the social determinants of health are often the greatest driver of health outcomes, and often the most difficult factor for health professionals to impact. To truly improve health and well-being in our state will require the attention of all, not just those who train as health professionals.”


Click the links below to read the articles in this issue.


Developing the Health Care Workforce of the Future for North Carolina by Allison Abernathy and Julie Byerley


The Changing North Carolina Health Workforce Pipeline by Jacqueline R. Wynn and Kaitlin U. Phillips


HOSA at Enloe High School: A Pipeline for Future Health Professionals by Kartik Tyagi


Preparing the Future Front-line Health Care Workforce in North Carolina by Peter Hans


Preparing the Health Care Workforce Through Apprenticeship by Patricia H. Goble


Training for Future Generations: Innovations in the Medical Education of Physicians in North Carolina by Bryan Hodge, Karen Hyman, and Robyn Latessa


Emerging Academic Pathways for the Evolving Health Care Workforce by Melissa Oakley Ockert


Licensed Professional Counselor Licensure Process in the State of North Carolina by Jessie D. Guest


Positive Partnerships: Rural Communities and the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner by Michelle Taylor Skipper

The Evolving Role of the Pharmacist in Interprofessional Practice by K. Paige D. Brown, Gabriella Salerno, Lina Poindexter, and Katie Trotta


Call for ACTion: Transforming Dental Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by Rocio B. Quinonez, Michael D. Wolcott, Jonathan M. Reside, Tate H. Jackson, Elizabeth C. Kornegay, Jack D. King, Katharine Ciarrocca, Vicki Kowlowitz, Edward J. Swift, Meg Zomorodi, Alison E. La Garry, Jeffrey A. Greene, and Scott S. De Rossi


Tar Heel Footprints in Health Care: Cedric Bright by Malik Dancy and Sam Wurzelmann


Running the Numbers: The Rapid Expansion of Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants in North Carolina by Julie C. Spero


Spotlight on the Safety Net: NC Medical Schools Step Up Efforts to Address the Opioid Epidemic: Waiver Training for Students by Sara McEwen