Bureau of Health Workforce
The Bureau of Health Workforce improves the health of underserved and vulnerable populations by strengthening the health workforce and connecting skilled professionals to communities in need. The Bureau provides strategic coordination, alignment, and enhanced communication between HRSA’s workforce programs to increase the number of practicing health care providers to address shortages, and develop ongoing strategies to monitor, forecast and meet long‐term health workforce needs.
Scholarship, Loan, and Loan Repayment Programs for Health Professionals
The Bureau of Health Workforce addresses the nationwide shortage of primary health care providers through scholarship, loan, and loan repayment programs that help underserved communities recruit and retain health professionals. They include:
- National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program for primary care medical, dental, and mental and behavioral health clinicians
- National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program for primary care medical and dental providers-in-training
- NURSE Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment programs for registered nurses and RN students
- Faculty Loan Repayment Program for health professions faculty from disadvantaged backgrounds
- Scholarship and Loan Programs for health professions schools, which make scholarships and low-interest loans available to students with financial need
The Bureau of Health Workforce manages the designation of Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/P).These Shortage Designations are used to determine eligibility for Federal programs including:
- National Health Service Corps
- NURSE Corps
- Health Center Program
- Rural Health Clinic Program
- Medicare HPSA Bonus Payment
- Exchange Visitor and Conrad State 30 programs
The Bureau coordinates with State partners to assure consistent and accurate assessment of underservice, including data collection and analysis.
Health Professions Training Grants
Health Professions Training Grants support primary care training programs by:
- Increasing diversity,
- Encouraging clinicians to practice in underserved areas
- Fostering interprofessional training and practice
- Preparing health care providers to meet the needs of the aging U.S. population
The health professions training programs support the education and training of a 21st century health workforce and are designed to address existing and projected demand for skilled health professionals in high-need areas nationwide.
Health Workforce Analysis
The National Center for Health Workforce Analysis leads the Bureau’s health professions workforce data collection, analysis, and evaluation efforts and acts as the national resources for workforce projections. The Center examines issues that impact the supply, demand, distribution, and education of the nation’s health workforce and provides policymakers the information necessary to make decisions regarding the health professions workforce and provision of care.
Graduate Medical Education
Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program supports health centers that train medical and dental residents in community-based ambulatory patient care settings. HRSA provides grant funding to defer the costs of graduate medical education.
HRSA helps the nation's freestanding children's hospitals meet the costs of providing graduate medical education through the Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Payment Program.
National Practitioner Data Bank
The Data Bank protects the public, improves health care quality, and deters fraud and abuse in the health care system by providing information about past adverse actions of practitioners, providers, and suppliers to authorized health care entities and agencies.
Last Reviewed: March 2016
BHW at a Glance
FY2017 Budget Request (PDF - 125 KB)
Federal Register Notice
Updating bureau structure
Federal Register Notice
Establishing the new bureau
Workforce Connections (PDF - 352 KB)
Scholarships & Loan Repayment For Clinicians
U.S. Health Workforce Data and Information
Health Workforce Development