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September 21, 2018 (Cleveland)

Infographic Illustrates Nursing Workforce & Shortage of Registered Nurses

Shortage-of-Registered-NursesBy 2020, the shortage of registered nurses in Northeast Ohio is expected to reach 2,850, more than three times the shortage of 820 in 2017. This is according to The Center for Health Affairs' nursing forecaster tool. The tool takes into account a variety of factors, including the number of nurses graduating and residing in the region as well as population characteristics that influence the demand for healthcare services.

Download Our New Nurse Forecaster Infographic

This swelling shortage of registered nurses is in spite of the fact that the number of working nurses in the region is on the rise, up to 55,923 in 2017, a 4.5 percent increase from 2015. During that same time period, the number of advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) grew more than 21 percent to 5,368.

Slowly, the median age of working RNs is creeping downward. In 2013, it was 49, decreasing to 47 in 2015 and to 45 in 2017. In 2015, 25 percent of nurses were ages 35 and younger, but this grew to almost 29 percent by 2017.

While there was little change from 2015 to 2017 in the diversity of the state’s nursing workforce, over the longer term this is expected to improve. A much larger proportion of younger nurses are men: 13.3 percent of those with 10 or fewer years of experience compared to just 1.4 percent of those with more than 40. This is also true with respect to racial and ethnic diversity. Of nurses with 10 or fewer years of experience, 7.9 percent are Black and 2.0 percent are Hispanic, compared to 3.9 and 0.3 percent of those who have been working as nurses for more than 40 years.

Unemployment among Northeast Ohio RNs, which was already very low at 2.9 percent in 2015, has declined even further, to 1.9 percent in 2017. These are nurses who are not employed but are seeking work. This shrinking of the unemployed nurse labor force is indicative of the supply of nurses being outstripped by the demand for them. While this is great news for nurses seeking work, it is an indication of what is yet to come for healthcare organizations as the nursing shortage grows.

For more detail about the nursing workforce and shortage of registered nurses, download the latest nurse forecaster infographic.