Recruitment and Retention of SLPs in Health Care

A Guide for Administrators, Program Directors, and Recruiters


Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are essential professionals in every health care setting-acute care, rehabilitation, pediatric, and psychiatric hospitals; long term care; outpatient facilities; and home health. Their expertise provides invaluable benefit to patients and other staff in managing problems (swallowing, communication, and cognitive-linguistic disorders) that affect patients' overall health, well-being, and ability to benefit from other medical or rehabilitation interventions. The qualifications and expertise of SLPs in health care settings cannot be duplicated by members of other professions. The following information has been developed to assist program directors and administrators in recruiting and retaining a highly qualified SLP staff.

Competition for employing SLPs is anticipated to grow as the demand for SLPs increases due to national demographic and health factors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment rate of SLPs is expected to experience "faster than average growth" through the year 2020. The BLS monitors the supply and demand for more than 700 occupations. According to the BLS, more than 28,000 additional SLPs will be needed to fill the demand between 2010 and 2020, a 23% increase in job openings. 

 BLS data retrieved from on May 29, 2012.

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