Setting the Stage for a Healthcare Career

Tiffany Stronghart & Brandon Arbuckle September 28, 2023
Image of a female healthcare worker holding a red paper heart. University of Wisconsin offers many programs for those interested in healthcare careers.

Healthcare is a growing and expanding field that features many career opportunities. With some of the top jobs in the country according to U.S. News & World Report, many positions in healthcare ensure job security and a higher median income compared to roles in other industries. 

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that roughly 1.8 million healthcare job openings will be available each year for the next decade. Nurse practitioners are one of the fastest-growing jobs in any field, with the number of jobs expected to increase 45 percent from 2022 to 2032. 

What’s causing this rapid growth in the field? According to the Wisconsin Hospital Association, healthcare workers are retiring faster than they can be replaced, and the gap between unfilled jobs has widened.

Other factors are contributing to the high demand for healthcare workers. Burnout from the COVID-19 pandemic has caused staffing shortages. Not only has the average life expectancy in the US decreased since the pandemic, but the growing baby boomer population has led to a rising need for senior care. There is also a need to treat and provide specialized care for patients, as more than half of adults have a chronic disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The healthcare field offers many ways to make a lasting difference in patients’ lives. With the expansion of online medical records and advances in technology, new jobs have been created for professionals in healthcare IT, health informatics, and health information management. Those who are passionate about helping others can also pursue a career in education to inspire the next generation of healthcare professionals:

“Even if you’re not doing the direct care, there’s so many ways that we can gain fulfillment in our career versus just going in and punching a clock 9 to 5. There are many jobs that don’t use medical skills,” says Jill Saxton, a nurse practitioner who teaches in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee RN-to-BSN program offered through UW Flexible Option

No matter your interests, there are opportunities for everyone to make a positive impact. Whether you want to work directly with patients or would prefer a non-clinical role, healthcare offers the flexibility to transition into other positions within the field as you progress in your career. 

Throughout the month of October, University of Wisconsin Extended Campus will be highlighting the healthcare field and the ways you can help make a difference. UW Extended Campus collaborates with campuses across the UW System to provide multiple healthcare programs to students. With 100 percent online offerings that allow you to fit courses into your busy schedule, our collaborative and competency-based programs provide the skills and practical experience required to excel in the field.

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To find out more about our healthcare programs, contact an enrollment adviser by calling 608-800-6762 or emailing