United States registered nurse workforce report card and shortage forecast

Am J Med Qual. May-Jun 2012;27(3):241-9. doi: 10.1177/1062860611416634. Epub 2011 Nov 19.


Registered nurses (RNs) play a critical role in health care delivery. With an aging US population, health care demand is growing at an unprecedented pace. Using projected changes in population size and age, the authors developed demand and supply models to forecast the RN job shortage in each of the 50 states. Letter grades were assigned based on projected RN job shortage ratios. The number of states receiving a grade of "D" or "F" for their RN shortage ratio will increase from 5 in 2009 to 30 by 2030, for a total national deficit of 918 232 (725,619 - 1,112,112) RN jobs. There will be significant RN workforce shortages throughout the country in 2030; the western region will have the largest shortage ratio of 389 RN jobs per 100,000. Increased efforts to understand shortage dynamics are warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care / trends*
  • Forecasting
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Nurses / statistics & numerical data
  • Nurses / supply & distribution*
  • Nurses / trends
  • United States