As the third largest state in population, Florida’s healthcare sector and its workforce are essential to the overall well-being of Florida and its residents. Data underscores critical and prolonged shortages in healthcare occupations yet there is no single organization addressing the needs of and developing solutions for this sector—until now.

The foundation for the HWRI builds on the expertise and successful data analysis model of the Florida Center for Nursing (FCN).  While the FCN is responsible for quantifying and making recommendations for the nursing  workforce, the majority of health occupations in Florida do not have similarly tasked research centers. This gap in data collection and synthesis creates an unnecessary blind spot on the quest for improved community health and a more intact workforce as the health industry is a growing component of Florida’s gross domestic product. Now more than ever, changes in the healthcare delivery system and payment models mean that collaborative interdisciplinary teams are essential to meet the evolving health and wellness needs. Understanding the workforce needs of each member of the team allows for better shaping of overall workforce strategies to successfully meet healthcare needs.

Currently, information on the healthcare workforce in Florida is limited to a few of the healthcare occupations. The Florida Department of Health collects, warehouses, and analyzes data on physicians, dentists, and dental hygienists while the FCN does so on advanced practice registered nurses, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.  However, having information about only a few of the occupations does not properly prepare the state for all of the current and future healthcare workforce needs. Composed of professional and non-professional workers that complement and support each other, more thorough information about these occupations is necessary in order to meet the health needs of Floridians using a team approach in a cost-effective manner. The HWRI will collect, warehouse, and analyze data on all significant healthcare occupations, conduct research on healthcare workforce issues, and collaborate with like-minded groups and institutions to accomplish its goal to inform decision making.


The Healthcare Workforce Research Initiative (HWRI) serves as the organizational nucleus of healthcare occupations data to support informed decision-making by healthcare stakeholders and to facilitate research and grant proposals that support a healthier Florida.  Comprised of three research centers – Center for Healthcare Providers; Center for Nursing; Center for Allied Health Professions.

The Initiative contributes to better healthcare workforce strategies through:

Identifying supply, demand, and education distribution and trends in healthcare to support the appropriate planning for future workforce needs

Directing and informing policies to alleviate shortages in key areas

Ascertaining the cost-effectiveness of staffing with particular professionals

Analyzing the effect of workforce supply on population health outcomes

Estimating changes in supply needed to meet the demands of new forms of healthcare delivery

Providing a statewide and regional forecast and perspective on healthcare workforce issues

Defining new models of health care delivery

Envisioning emerging and evolving roles and occupations in healthcare

Industry Participation

An essential component of the HWRI is to maintain a strong relationship with a diverse representation of health industry leaders across the state.  Their input is critical to understanding the current and future need for healthcare workers in Florida. Interested stakeholders will be given the opportunity to contribute to the strategies, policies, and procedures of the HWRI through participation in summits, focused meetings, and other information gathering efforts. 

An Advisory Panel will be formed to provide strategic advice to the management of the HWRI.  Members representing Florida’s health industry will bring unique knowledge and skills to augment that of the HWRI Team.  Another key asset of the Panel is their ability to connect the HWRI with the health industry community, while at the same time, helping the industry learn about the HWRI.  In addition to the HWRI leadership team, the Panel will have participants from the University of Central Florida’s Academic Health Sciences Center and its three colleges – Medicine; Nursing; Health Professions and Sciences.

Conceptual Model

The structure of the Initiative will provide stakeholders with broader, more interconnected data and analysis across the continuum of health care and facilitate interprofessional collaboration. As can be seen in this conceptual model, the HWRI is comprised of the three centers and a cadre of shared services to maximize the cost-efficiency of the model.

Conceptual Model

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Industry Participation

Conceptual Model

What is the Healthcare Workforce?


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