AUSTIN ⎯ The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) this week announced $15 million in funding will be allocated to the development of a statewide registered apprenticeship initiative for the healthcare industry to increase the number of career pathway opportunities for registered nurses (RN) and healthcare professionals in the state. This Statewide Healthcare Registered Apprenticeship Initiative will be designed to offer employers an innovative approach to hiring and training future nurses and healthcare staff by expanding opportunities for students who wish to pursue career pathways to RN certification and other healthcare fields.
“Texas is facing labor shortages in the healthcare industry, and registered apprenticeship offers a proven model to train and upskill our workforce while earning as they learn,” said TWC Chairman Bryan Daniel. “Developing these career pathways for healthcare professionals helps ensure Texans will have qualified professionals to care for them and their families.”
Nursing has been a top demand job posting for the past ten years in Texas, according to TWC’s Labor Market Information group. But as the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted, Texas, along with the rest of the country, is facing a critical shortage of registered nurses. By 2032, it is anticipated Texas will face a deficit of 57,012 registered nurses needed in our labor market. This Statewide Healthcare Registered Apprenticeship Initiative will establish short-term pathways to entry for healthcare professions by expediting application processes and coordinating across multiple workforce areas.
“After convening a group of stakeholders, including experts from Baylor Scott & White and DHR Health to discuss their challenges, it became clear we needed to take immediate action to train more healthcare providers and nurses across the state,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Our registered apprenticeship approach to training nurses is one of the most innovative in the country, and we’re thrilled to play a part in creating healthcare career opportunities for Texans.”
Nursing registered apprenticeship programs that address industry needs can help solve the shortage and will be built on the foundations of:
- Providing paid RN clinicals
- Convening workshops that include subject matter experts representing healthcare providers, higher education, and workforce to explore ways to support pathway credentialing for Certified Nurse Assistants, Licensed Vocational Nurses, Associate Degree in Nursing to Registered Nurse, and Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- Identifying, mapping, and incorporating credentials — relevant and of value to the healthcare industry — that are stackable and portable
- Developing articulated crosswalks, thereby enabling students who have completed registered apprenticeship programs to earn college credit
“Texas employers in the healthcare industry have made it clear that staffing is one of the top challenges they face,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Aaron Demerson. “We’re proud to support this innovative effort that provides healthcare employers with yet another valuable option for training members of their team.”