Societal challenge - Healthcare professionals of the future

One of the four societal challenges of the Nivel Research Agenda 2022-2024
There are over 1.2 million professionals employed in the Dutch healthcare sector. Together they provide high quality care. Yet, they experience an increasing pressure, in dealing with workforce shortages, workload and administrative burdens. Our reseach focuses on these kind of issues. The results can be used by policy makers and managementteams, concerned with the question how to maintain the high standard of care, now and in the future. 

Nivel-U3-foto-rand-350pxThe research we conduct in the framework of the societal challenge on how to create a sustainable health workforce is divided into three subjects:

  • Professionalism and professional conduct in care giving
  • The context in which the professionals perform their job
  • The healthcare labour market

All relevant research information and results on these subjects you will find on the right (Publications, Projects, News, etc.).

Nivel-icoon-U3-thema-professionaliteitSubject: Professionalism and professional conduct in care giving

We map out the issues that healthcare professionals have to face. Together with those professionals, we examine how they can continue to provide the best possible care.

  • We focus on the development of the healthcare profession as such: new insights lead to new ways of acting and applying them in daily practice.
  • We gain insights into the role of professionals in a healthcare context that is constantly changing, by doing research on shared decision making and giving integrated care in collaboration with other professionals.
  • We investigate the motives, needs, and preferences of healthcare professionals. These insights contribute to the sustainable employability of these professionals.
Art van Schaaijk

The labour market of GP care differs strongly at the regional level. By mapping regional bottlenecks for the different professions, we can make the labour market more future-proof. Art van Schaaijk Researcher Professions in Healthcare and Manpower Planning

Nivel-Icoon-thema-context-professionalSubject: The context in which healthcare professionals perform their work

The context in which healthcare professionals carry out their work is crucial for their functioning and job satisfaction. This might include the working environment, legislation and oversight in healthcare and the organisation and financing of the healthcare system, but also environmental factors, such as the corona pandemic.

  • We study how healthcare organisations can ensure that healthcare professionals can get the most out of themselves. Are the parameters of efficiency, working according to guidelines, and professional autonomy balanced out?
  • We investigate the effect and influence of laws and regulations in healthcare on the daily work of the professional. How effective are disciplinary proceedings, for example? Is there an alternative approach?
  • What is the influence of the organisation and financing of the healthcare system on the work performance of the professional?

Nivel-icoon-thema-arbeidsmarkt-zorgSubject: The healthcare labour market

With more than 1.2 million employees, the healthcare sector is one of the largest labour market sectors in the Netherlands. Yet, there is a growing gap between the supply and demand of healthcare services. This calls for new solutions, solutions that improve the quantitative and qualitative connection to the healthcare labour market.

  • With Nivel’s innovative, unique Model for Workforce Planning in Healthcare we investigate the relationship between education and practice in health professions and calculate the required workforce capacity.
  • We investigate differences in labour market characteristics between region in the Netherlands.
  • Sustainable employability of healthcare professionals will increase the quality of public healthcare. How can this be achieved? We study possible solutions such as creating professional development opportunities, optimising team composition, implementing task reallocation, and improving healthcare policy at a regional level.
  • What is the impact of e-health and other technologies on the healthcare labour market?

Take a look at our research content concerning the challengeTake a look at our research content concerning the challenge

The relevant research information and results on these three subjects, you will find in at the sections Publications, Projects, News, etc. on this webpage.

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Zenderen, I. van (Nivel Research Communication Center). Societal challenge - Healthcare professionals of the future. From: [Last update 12-February-2024; consulted on 21-June-2024]. URL: