More Complaints About the ONC Workforce Program

I think my post on Finding Jobs for ONC Workforce Participants and other related posts have been some of the saddest posts I’ve done. My heart really does break when I read the stories of the people who have done the ONC Workforce program and can’t find healthcare IT jobs. Here’s one such example that was recently left in the comments (minor modifications from the original):

I too completed the ONC Workforce Training Program in December 2011. I am an R.N. with over 20 years of healthcare experience.I have no prior IT experience…$19 billion dollars [the whole HITECH Act was $36 billion, so this number is off. I want to say the workforce program was just a little under $1 billion. Either way, it’s still a lot of money.] of tax payers money has been invested in the training we should be prepared to get a job. I have been agressively looking for an entry level position also and have not been able to get work because when I speak to employers, recruiters, the outcome is always the same “the EHR companies want experienced people”, they are not interested in the HIT certification. The IT companies are being very selective at this time, they are looking for experts to implement the EHR systems. Eveyone is making money, the colleges, Ahima, Pearson Vue, computer companies, printer companies, and all of the supply companies that students buy equipment and supplies from. I have spent $3,000.00 on equipment in preparation for taking the ONC training. It may be tuition free, but it is very expensive to take the training. I have been unemployed for almost 4 years due to lay-offs. I have advanced training in healthcare and have spent large sums of money and remain unemployed. I thought that with my nursing background that I would have been a perfect fit for the ONC Trainer Role. I appreciate the training, but am greatly disappointed with not being trained for the job industry. Well if anyone has any lead on how I can get a job please share the information.

In that post, I linked to the EMR & EHR Jobs board that I have in the sidebar of my websites. There are quite a few EMR related jobs listed there. I haven’t quite figured out the reason for the disconnect. I’ve always been an experience over certification guy, but some of these stories really tug at the heart strings. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I have many answers for these people searching for healthcare IT jobs.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • As an instructor with one of the ONC training programs, I too find this disheartening. There are many good people going through these programs and obtaining the right skills but the vendors and hospitals aren’t taking advantage in hiring them. We had one vendor (one of the 3 largest in the country) convey that these people MIGHT be good Help Desk staff for them but little else. THAT is disheartening because these poeple are seldom interested in being Help Desk staff.

  • Thanks for the comment JoeG. I’m a little torn by your comment about the Help Desk job. I guess I’ve talked to so many that would be fine with work of any kind on the healthcare industry, even a help desk job since it would get them in the door.

    I guess the key question I’d have if I were a program talking to that hospital is if they’d create a program where the people I’ve trained get help desk jobs, but then also have a path to be able to grow from that position if they perform well.

  • I would concur with the woman above. In addition to completing the ONC HIT program in December 2011, I have a recent Master’s in Medical Informatics and HIM degree with RHIT certification.

    On paper, I have all the qualifications for these positions. So far, it has not translated into a job that is appropriate for the training I received. I would think that soon there would be a shortage of qualified professionals and the vendors & hospital systems would be willing to train new hires. We are knowledgeable & highly skilled. Take a chance on someone new. You might be pleasantly surprised and glad you did!!

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