The Growing Demand for Healthcare Workers in New York


March 22, 2024


March 22, 2024

New research from the American Immigration Council shows that immigrants in New York made up over 27.0 percent of the state’s healthcare workers despite accounting for only 22.0 percent of the population. The new report, The Growing Demand for Healthcare Workers in New York, highlights the contributions that professionally licensed immigrants make in high-demand healthcare occupations that require a professional or occupational license.  

Amid rising labor shortages, New York is facing increased demand for healthcare workers that international medical graduates (IMGs) and other internationally trained healthcare workers can help meet. For New York to remain competitive and address critical shortages of physicians and other healthcare workers, the state must implement policies that not only attract and retain immigrant talent that is complementary to the U.S.-born workforce, but also build career pathways for immigrants who already call the state home.    

  • Immigrants are already helping New York meet its demand for healthcare workers. Immigrants represented 28.2 percent of registered nurses, 25.2 percent of nurse practitioners, 36.3 percent of clinical lab technologists, and 30.5 percent of licensed practical nurses from 2015 to 2019. 

  • Immigrants are uniquely positioned to provide support across all healthcare settings. From 2018 to 2022, the number of healthcare worker job postings that required bilingual skills in New York increased by over 65 percent. Internationally trained healthcare professionals often have multilingual skills, enabling them to fill those positions.  

  • Immigrants’ skill sets are being underutilized in New York, leading to brain waste. Despite the need for immigrants’ skill sets, challenges such as skill recognition and a lack of re-credentialing pathways are leading to the underemployment of qualified internationally trained immigrants. From 2015 to 2019, the share of immigrants who had a biology or healthcare-related bachelor’s degree but worked in a job that did not require a bachelor’s degree was 33.0 percent. Additionally, the share of immigrants with professional and doctorate degrees working in occupations in the healthcare industry that did not require a professional or doctorate degree was 10.4 percent.  

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