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IHS Recruitment

The Health Professions Support Branch (HPSB) assists qualified health professionals in identifying career opportunities to provide comprehensive, culturally competent care to American Indians and Alaska Natives. IHS health care practitioners enjoy meaningful, challenging work in their efforts to raise the physical, mental, social and spiritual health needs of Native people, many of whom experience significant health disparities at far higher rates than the general US population.

Recruiting qualified health care providers to work within rural and remote Indian health communities is a significant challenge. IHS facilities are in need of full-time, permanent physicians, dentists, nurses and pharmacists, as well as other professional disciplines. The HPSB continues to develop and update its recruitment, retention and marketing materials, including advertising placement in professional journals and on recruitment websites. The branch continues to work with IHS HR staff and with the Division of Commissioned Corps Personnel and Readiness (DCCPR) to identify ways to shorten the time required to hire new health professional staff (within both the civil service and Commissioned Corps). To learn more, visit the IHS Career Opportunities.

Currently, vacancy rates and the total number of vacancies for key health disciplines continue to remain high even when compared to federally-funded health centers.

IHS Vacancy Rates
Profession IHS Vacancy Rate (09/2015)
Dentist 18%
Nurse 18%
Nurse Practitioner 25%
Pharmacist 6.6%
Physician 25%

The Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs are unable to provide enough health care professionals to reduce the substantial vacancy rates, but they do continue to have a major impact on meeting the staffing needs of hard-to-fill sites.