Employing Temporary and Agency Staff

May 4, 2016 | Health System Risk Management


Whether a healthcare facility faces a workforce shortage depends largely on the state where the facility is located. Differences in demographics, population shifts, the labor market, and the availability of nursing education in the state result in considerable variation in the size and adequacy of the nursing workforce (Carnevale et al.). The distribution of nursing professionals varies substantially by state, as does nurses' role in each state's healthcare workforce.

HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) used a healthcare workforce simulation model to develop state-level projections for the future supply and demand of registered nurses (RNs) and LPNs. No statistical model is perfect or includes every potential factor that could affect the healthcare workforce supply and demand. HRSA points out that its projections do not account for emerging healthcare delivery models that may increase demand for nurses or for changes in demand that might result from increased numbers of people seeking healthcare as a result of the implementation of ACA. See Projected Nursing Shortages by 2025.

Sixteen states are projected to experience a smaller growth in RN supply relative to their state-specific demand, resulting in a shortage of RNs by 2025; 10 of these states are in the West, 4 are in the South, and 2 are in the Northeast region. States projected to experience the greatest shortfalls in the number of RNs by 2025 are Arizona (with 28,100 fewer RNs than needed), followed by Colorado and North Carolina (each with 12,900 fewer RNs than needed). Growth in supply is expected to exceed demand growth in...

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