Nurses, Nurses, Nurses By Bernie Reifkind, CEO Premier Search, Inc.
The United States is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for health care grows. Compounding the problem is the fact that nursing colleges and universities across the country are struggling to expand enrollment levels to meet the rising demand for nursing care.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is concerned about the shortage of Registered Nurses (RNs) and is working with schools, policy makers, kindred organizations, and the media to bring attention to this health care crisis. AACN is working to enact legislation, identify strategies, and form collaborations to address the nursing shortage. To keep stakeholders abreast of current statistics related to the shortage, this fact sheet has been developed along with a companion Web resource.
Current and Projected Shortage Indicators
The shortage of registered nurses (RNs) in the U.S. could reach as high as 500,000 by 2025 according to a report released by Dr. Peter Buerhaus and colleagues in March 2008. The report, titled The Future of the Nursing Workforce in the United States: Data, Trends and Implications, found that the demand for RNs is expected to grow by 2% to 3% each year.
In a statement released in March 2008, The Council on Physician and Nurse Supply, an independent group of health care leaders based at the University of Pennsylvania, has determined that 30,000 additional nurses should be graduated annually to meet the nation’s healthcare needs, an expansion of 30% over the current number of annual nurse graduates.
According to the latest projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published in the November 2007 Monthly Labor Review, more than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2016. Government analysts project that more than 587,000 new nursing positions will be created through 2016 (a 23.5% increase), making nursing the nation’s top profession in terms of projected job growth. www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2007/11/art5full.pdf