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Healthcare professions

With its recommendations on the "Perspectives for the Further Development of the Health Professions (2023)", the German Science and Humanities Council (WR) takes into account the challenges in the health system. These include social and technical developments, shortage of qualified workers, an increasing shift of inpatient diagnostic and therapeutic measures to the outpatient sector, as well as the financing of care services in economic competition. This leads not only to an increased demand for care services, but also to qualitatively changed - more complex and more specific - care needs, which also increases the demands on the health professions.

This development is by no means new. As early as 2012, the recommendations of the WR outlined the opportunities that lie in the academisation of the health professions against the backdrop of the aforementioned challenges. An essential prerequisite for the successful further development of the health professions is the development of scientific disciplines, which – according to the Council – should be accelerated and supported by targeted measures.

We recommend...

  • to use and expand existing instruments and measures for the promotion of research and young scientists, and
  • to create sustainable structures, especially for research, and to break new ground in this area. This includes in particular the establishment and promotion of centers for research, teaching and care management.
  • Due to their research-oriented care environment and their access to patient care, the German Science and Humanities Council also considers a stronger participation of university medicine/universities in the process of academization of health professions to be purposeful.
  • At the same time, it is necessary to develop professional target positions for health professionals with university qualifications, thereby highlighting career paths in health care and science.


The recommendations on "Perspectives for the Further Development of Health Professions" are based on the "HQGplus Study on Higher Education Qualifications for the Health System - Update", the results of which were published in spring 2022.

With this study report (German version only), the WR head office follows up on other quantitative studies, which at irregular intervals highlight structural developments in the research and higher education system.

The focus is on higher education qualification paths for midwives as well as nursing and therapy professions with responsibilities and direct activities on patients or clients. The HQGplus study consists of a university survey and a survey of care facilities (hospitals and rehabilitation facilities), which provide information about the use of university-qualified health professionals in patient- or client-centered care. In addition, interviews with experts address the question of where specific drivers or barriers to the development of scientific disciplines can be found.

The study was funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation, the Heinz Nixdorf Foundation and the Else Kröner-Fresenius Foundation. The German Institute of Applied Nursing Research / DIP conducted the surveys on behalf of the WR.

Contact person at the Head Office

Dr. Beatrix Schwörer
Phone +49 221-3776-266