Scaling Career Pathways For Entry-Level Health Care Workers At the intersection of health, health care, and policy.Imagine a job-creation initiative in which an employee with just a high school diploma has a realistic chance of more than doubling his or her original salary while working for the same employer. Now imagine that the careers this initiative supports also provide some of the most in-demand skills sought by employers in the future workforce.This opportunity and the immense potential it represents to help build the middle class exist in the health care sector today. That is why, about a year ago, more than 20 major health care systems from communities across the nation joined together to capture this possibility, and the Health Career Pathways Task Force recently released its first comprehensive report, Paving Health Career Pathways to the Middle Class. The report details the initial findings and practical recommendations for creating these career pathways.Consider one success story of an entry-level worker who increased her earning potential to nearly five times her starting salary. Jessica (a pseudonym) began her career as a food service associate at Norton Healthcare, a health system headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Once employedand with financial support and flexibility offered by her employerJessica pursued additional education, eventually becoming a registered nurse and then a nurse practitioner. Not only has she dramatically increased her earning potential, but she is also improving care for patients in her community with an expanding skill set that has served diverse needs along the way.

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