Nursing has been a lucrative and highly demanded profession in the USA with almost every healthcare and medical centre requiring nurses in abundance. In fact, if the statistics are analyzed, nursing is ranked at no. # 3 in the list of the most demanded professionals in the USA in 2019 i.e. in the pre-pandemic era. There has always been the highest demand for nurses as per the nurse staffing statistics. However, there has been a nursing shortage during the COVID-19 outbreak. Moreover, the gap between the jobs that are available and those graduating from nursing school is growing at an alarming rate.
Current statistics of Registered Nurses in the USA
- As per the World Health Statistics Report, about 3.9 million nurses and midwives work in the USA healthcare industry.
- The US Bureau of Labour Statistics estimates that nearly 11 million more nurses are required to fulfil the already existing nurses shortage in the USA.
- According to the reports of the American Nurses Association (ANA), there will be a hike in the jobs for registered nurses (RN) in the year 2022 in the entire USA.
- It is noteworthy to state that the RN workforce will increase by 28% in the year 2030 making it an all-time high profession with the addition of 200,000 RNs every year.
- The employment opportunities for the nurses will grow at a rate of 15% as compared to other occupations by the year 2026 such nurse staffing statistics signify a huge shortage of nurses in the future.
What are the causes behind the shortage of Nurses in the USA?
The aging population
- As more people are growing older as the baby boomer generation is reaching the age of retirement, leading to a 73% hike in Americans aged 65 years and beyond.
- With the rise in the grey population, there is an increased risk of health issues, especially chronic and cardiac conditions.
- Hence, the demand for complex care is rising at an alarming rate as the population aged 65 years and beyond will double by 2050.
Retirement of RNs
- The RNs are also growing old and by the year 2030, an estimated 1+ million nurses will be retired by the year 2030.
- At present, almost 50% of the RNs are of the age 50 years and beyond.
- The number of RNs who are leaving the profession has almost doubled since 2010 as stated by the National Nursing Workforce Study due to high-stress levels, health issues, and commitment towards the family.
- The turnover rate of RNs is between 8.8% to 37% according to various locations and specialties in the USA.
Shortage of Nursing Faculty and low rate of enrolment
- There is a shortage of nurse educators, primary care providers, and researchers along with the shortage of classroom space, clinical sites, and budget.
- The limited numbers of nursing school faculty also contribute to future enrolment.
How to solve the issue of Nursing Shortage?
- There is an urgent need for collaborative efforts to solve the issue of Nursing Shortage and it can be solved by maintaining an effective patient-to-nurse ratio. As per the Nurse Journal, the average Nurse-to-State Population Ratio is 12.06 that are equal to number of nurses per 1,000 populations.
U.S. Nurse-to-State Population Ratio
|Total Nurses (2018)||State Population (2019)||Nurses Per 1,000 Population|
- Empowering the nurses with necessary benefits and securing their future.
- Facilitating educational accessibility to aspiring students with more faculty and institutions offering the courses.