Nursing Shortage Will Grow in Severity During Next 20 Years

According to the Heath Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) the current RN shortage will continue to grow in severity during the next 20 years if current trends prevail and that some states face a more severe shortage than do others. An adequate supply of nurses is essential to achieving the Nation’s goals of ensuring access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. While the adequacy of nurse supply varies geographically throughout the Nation, there’s a general consensus that at the national level a moderate shortage of registered nurses (RN) exists.

The growth and aging of the population, along with the Nation’s continued demand for the highest quality of care, will create a surging demand for the services of BSN nurses and those with a Masters in Nursing over the coming 2 decades. At the same time, because many RNs are approaching retirement age and the nursing profession faces difficulties attracting new entrants and retaining the existing workforce, the RN supply remains flat. One of the primary problems contributing to the nursing shortage crisis is the lack of nurse educators available to teach nursing students. This low supply is causing a bottleneck where the pool of qualified nursing candidates is overwhelming educational institutions and putting many future nurses on wait-lists where some end up waiting years to gain acceptance. During this time nurse candidates either lose interest or simply can’t afford the cost to continuously wait and select another career path.

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