Health Care Workforce

Male nurse speaking with a patient.

Faced with severe labor shortages and high turnover, hospitals and health care providers nationwide are struggling to find talent to fill critical job openings in nursing and allied health professions. The considerable amount of time and money it costs to train for these jobs is too great for many, especially those from low-income communities, and the public workforce programs that used to alleviate this risk have all but disappeared. As a result, fewer people are entering nursing and allied health fields, and health care providers are feeling the impact.

Through tools like the Career Impact Bond and Pay It Forward Funds, Social Finance partners with health employers, funders, and training providers to develop student-friendly financing solutions that expand access to training, build the pipeline of new nurses and allied health professionals, and open up career pathways to those who have been traditionally locked out of good jobs and the economic mobility that comes with them. Our programs are anchored in learner outcomes, enabling people who face barriers to education and employment to train for careers in health care with minimal personal risk. Participants only repay program costs if they earn above a certain salary (learners don’t pay if they don’t succeed), and employers may also repay tuition costs as a retention mechanism for these critical roles.

Our Work in Health Care

Nursing student in a Nursing Simulation Lab at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, NJ.

Expanding Pathways to Nursing in New Jersey

Social Finance is partnering with the State of New Jersey and NJ CEO Council on the nation’s first Pay It Forward Program to prepare New Jersey residents for in-demand jobs. We partner with high-quality training providers like the Nursing Program at Hudson County Community College and provide zero-interest, no-fee loans to participants, especially those who may not have the savings to pay for training or the credit history for a loan. This program is supported by local employers including Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and RWJBarnabas Health.

Photo courtesy of Charles Sykes/AP Images for Johnson & Johnson.

Woman in a labcoat performing and experiment

Upskilling Immigrants and Refugees for Careers in Clinical Research

In partnership with Clinical Research Fastrack, Social Finance has developed a Career Impact Bond to train 700 unemployed or underemployed people, including immigrants and refugees, for careers as clinical research professionals. Clinical Research Fastrack graduates work on clinical trials for new treatments designed to address a variety of health conditions, including Alzheimer’s, cancer, Covid-19, diabetes, and Parkinson’s. This Career Impact Bond aims to broaden and diversify the talent pipeline for clinical research to support more equitable health outcomes and employment opportunities.

Older adult in physical therapy

Training Long-Term Care Workers for Higher-Paying Health Care Roles

In response to industry-wide health care worker shortages, employers and policymakers are looking towards models like Social Finance’s Massachusetts Pathways to Economic Advancement program to help build sustainable health career pathways. Social Finance is working with Jonathan Gruber, an MIT health economist best known for his role as one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, to develop a Career Impact Bond with the Massachusetts Senior Care Association to address nursing home staff shortages.

Male nurse standing at a desk.

Increasing Access to Nursing Education through Career Impact Bonds

Through support from Johnson & Johnson and the Aspen Institute, Social Finance conducted research on the Career Impact Bond as a promising tool for the field of nursing. The research focuses on how student-friendly financing tools can make nursing education more affordable and provide economic opportunity for students who may not otherwise be able to pursue nursing careers.