Nursing is facing a perfect storm of factors, that, when taken all together, may leave the world short of almost 5.7 million nurses by 2030, according to forecasts by Becker's Hospital Review. In America, the driving factors behind this shortage include the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age, an increased need for health care as our population gets older, a lack of qualified educators, and the COVID-19 pandemic. While every state is feeling the effects of these factors, their intensity, and the amount to which they’ll affect nursing supply, varies immensely.
NursingEducation.org used data from the Health Resources and Services Administration's Health Workforce Simulation Model, which is an integrated health professions projection model that estimates the current and future supply of and demand for health care providers. The 2017 model, which is the most recent available, looks at demographics of current health care providers, current and projected population numbers, and the state of the national economy and the labor market.
For this story, the states were ranked by the projected surplus of registered nurses in 2030, which is the percent change between the projected supply of RNs and the projected demand. A positive percentage means there is a projected surplus of nurses in 2030, and a negative percentage means there is a projected shortage of nurses. Any ties are broken by the projected surplus of licensed practical nurses in 2030.
Read on to see where your state falls in the rankings, and what states are doing to help amend the crisis, whether it’s improving the student-to-professional pipeline or providing monetary incentives.