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Source: AACN Media Relations

The United States is in the midst of a nursing shortage. This is expected to intensify as baby boomers age and the need for healthcare grows. Compounding the problem is the fact that the pipeline of new nurses is shrinking and a significant part of the current nursing workforce is planning to leave the profession.

More than 1 million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2010.

Current and Projected Shortage Indicators

  • 44 states plus the District of Columbia are projected to have a shortage of registered nurses by the year 2020.
  • More than one million new and replacement nurses will be needed by 2010. The U.S. Department of Labor projects a 21% increase in the need for nurses nationwide from 1998 to 2008, compared with a 14% increase for all other occupations.
  • The number of first time U.S. educated nursing school graduates who sat for the NCLEX-RN, decreased by 28.7% from 1995-2001, a decrease of 27,679 student graduates.
  • 126,000 nurses are needed now to fill vacancies at our nation's hospitals. Today, fully 75% of all hospital vacancies are for nurses.
  • The U.S. will experience a 20% shortage in the number of nurses needed in our nation's healthcare system by the year 2020, a shortage of more than 400,000 RNs nationwide.

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