Solving the Nurse Shortage Crisis (Infographic)

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment of Registered Nurses (RNs) is expected to grow 23 percent between 2006 and 2016 with 587,000 new jobs.

However, nursing shortage statistics show that there will not be enough RNs to fill these positions.

Solving the Nurse Shortage Crisis

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Possible Explanations for the Nursing Shortage
Restrictions on work visas
Restrictions on work visas limit healthcare facilities from hiring foreign nurses to fill vacant positions.

Average age of nurses
The average age of a nurse is 42.5, meaning many are retiring or will be retiring in the near future.

Universal healthcare reform will decrease the number of uninsured in 2019 by 32million, putting greater demand on already strained hospitals.

Understaffed nursing schools
Many nursing schools are forced to turn away qualified applicants because of a limited number of faculty members.

Aging population
Baby boomers are reaching retirement age, increasing the demand for healthcare services and the number of nurses needed to fulfill them.

Population growth
As the population grows, so does the need for healthcare administration.

Projected Nursing Shortfall
The combination of fewer people going into nursing and the retirement of current nurses is projected to produce a shortfall of more than 1 million nurses in the United States by 2020.

Nursing Shortage Solutions
Increase job security
As the number of available nursing jobs increases, more people may decide to pursue a nursing degree.

Improving education
Nursing schools need to reassess the types of programs and degrees they offer to attract and retain students.

Reverse bidding
Reverse bidding allows nurses to fill open shifts through a Web-based system. The RN is matched with a vacancy based on his or her qualifications.

Increasing wages
Higher wages will motivate more people to enter the nursing field.

Staffing by a free agency
Some healthcare facilities use free agents to fill vacant shifts. Free agency nurses to not have a set schedule. They bid on shifts that were not filled by a healthcare facilities regular staff. A free agent nurse bids on an hourly rate or a shift bonus.

Choose a travel nursing company
Travel nursing is a unique and specialized field of nursing which allows certain healthcare professionals to circle the nation and help hospitals fill positions during this constant and growing nursing shortage.

Average Salary of Nursing Jobs
– An LVN is a License Vocational Nurse which is a nurse that is licensed by the state to provide routine patient care.
– A RN (Registered Nurse) has completed a course of study and passed the proper examinations to become licensed and registered.
– A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree allows more opportunity for employment, increased responsibility, and career progression.
– LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse) care for the sick, injured, and disabled under the direction of physicians and registered nurses.
Nurse practitioner programs can perform many of the duties that a physician can perform such as performing physical exams and prescribing medications.

Nursing Fun Facts
More men than ever are entering the profession.
By some reports, men now make up nearly 20 percent of all nursing students.

The BLS cites registered nursing as the largest healthcare occupation, encompassing 2.6M jobs across the US.

Produced by Veterinary Technician. Data sourced from EDU Decisions,, Stateline,, NursingLink.

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  • Betty Morse, RN

    With no tort reform, skyrocketing insurance costs for doctors, and the scourge of Obamacare, not many will see a doctor or certified board specialist but will increasingly rely on physician’s assistants and nurses for basic medical care and diagnosis. Maybe the shortage of nurses is resulting from demographics and the shift of primary care away from the physicians. Nurses are special people often more responsible for the well-being of the patient than even the doctor. My mother was a nurse for more than 65 years. She always put the patient first. Attitude remains important.

  • Two of my three sons are nurses. One owns an assisted living and one works on the trauma registry in Europe. The one that owns the assisted living facility is considering selling because of the regulatory burden and no respect or protection for those who operate these facilities. He has been treated shabbily by the state agency because of a disgrunted employee targeting him because she was fired. His partner, also a nurse, works in an ER, and the pay is good, but it is very stressful and she is on her feet for over 12 hours a shift and is now 50. My personal opinion as to one reason for the shortage is that nurses have to be intelligent and have a good educational foundation to suceed in nursing school. Median I.Q. has dropped given the change in composition of our general population; and the quality of education has fallen due to the millions and millions of illegal alien’s children we are forced to admit into our schools. All of which I have personally experienced in Phoenix. AZ.

  • So frustrated, RN

    You know, I keep hearing this. Yet somehow, in the large metro area I live – Houston, TX, it’s near impossible for a graduate nurse to find a job unless you’re able to get into one of the competitive internship programs offered TWICE a year at the large hospitals in the area. I’m at my wits end!

  • TN RN

    As an RN I would *love* to know where the average RN salary is $74,000. Here with ~10 years of experience salary is < $50,000. Average NP salary is between $80,000-100,000 nationwide.

    • SF_RN

      yea thats cuz u live in TN. if you live in manhattan or san francisco, of course you will make $74k. location location location

  • Navarroartes

    The so call “nursing shortage” is just a myth and the only ones that made money on this were the schools that suddenly starting to spread all over How is it possible that as the financial crisis hit in 2008, most hospitals had a hiring freeze, was the shortage resolved all of the sudden? I graduated in 2008 and many struggled to get jobs. Just few months ago my new graduate neighbor had to relocate because she couldn’t find work here in the Phoenix area. If you see any job openings they are usually for experienced nurses.

    • Garcia

      well duh, why would a hospital hire an inexperienced nurse?

  • Floridian

    I agree… $74K sounds way high, the avg here in FL is about $60K, and there are a many new grads who cannot find work in hospitals because training programs have been slashed in the past few years… Also there are many low quality nursing schools popping up all over the place, thus lowering the standards. Until there are better regulations out there, we will continue to see substandard nurses graduating that no one wants to hire. Thank goodness I was able to go to a 4 year university and start working before all of this started to happen…

  • Nursing is a good job, it may to make online jobs to recruitment from others country. Nice sharing!/hairblogtips

  • Alice Smith

    Many job opportunities are available for nursing in US right now. Just focus and get the job in hand.