BusinessMedical EducationPublic Health

Nursing Shortage or Nursing Surplus?

1 Mins read

nursing

nursing

I’ve been a bit of a broken record about the so-called nursing shortage since at least 2009. (See here, here, here, here, here and here.) The conventional wisdom has been that we are facing a looming, massive shortage of nurses –in the hundreds of thousands in 10 or 15 years. I’ve always looked at those numbers with raised eyebrows, especially since they are often pushed by those with a vested interest in boosting the number of nursing students.

Of course there are variations by region, specialty, and level of expertise but in general the idea of a big nursing shortage just didn’t make sense to me.

So I was gratified to receive the following note from a researcher at Staffing Industry Analysts:

Hey David,

I ran across your article in 2013 about the nursing shortage rhetoric being hootzpah. Good article, and turns out you were right on the money. Not sure if you’ve seen, but the HRSA just updated its projections and now projects a nursing surplus of 340,000 nurses by 2025 (given current conditions continue).

Wrote an article on it here if you’re interested.

Sure enough, the government’s estimate of the balance between supply and demand has shifted radically. In 2002 HRSA predicted a shortage of 800,000 RNSs by 2020. The latest estimate shows a surplus of 340,000 by 2025. The biggest reason? A huge increase in nursing graduates.

I think the long-term outlook for nursing demand may be even more dire, because forecasters tend to neglect the long-term substitution of capital for labor. There will still be a lot of nursing jobs, but nurse productivity will increase as technology improves, and some tasks done by humans today will be done by robots in the future.

nursing / shutterstock

Related posts
Medical EducationNursing

Nurse Educator Resources for Online Clinical Education

3 Mins read
Now, more than ever, we need skilled and compassionate nurses to take care of people in a variety of different healthcare settings….
Business

Top Tips to Help You Become A Lead in The Pharma Market

3 Mins read
The pharmaceutical market has witnessed substantial growth over the past 20 years, resulting in worldwide pharma revenues reaching a staggering $1.25 trillion…
Medical EducationNursing

What is the Salary Outlook Difference for a BSN vs. RN Career?

2 Mins read
Nurses proved their importance hundreds of times over during the COVID pandemic, and many young people want to follow in the footsteps…