NR-451-RN – Current And Projected Nursing Workforce Shortages

Current and Projected Shortage

Shortage in nursing professional has been a problem for quite sometimes now. This has been attributed by a number of factors that included low enrollment in nursing courses, poor nursing image, changing work climate where the level of job satisfaction was low and the level of burnout and stress was high, job complexity, and better offers in other professionals despite of having nursing training among other factors (Goodin, 2003). The alarming nursing shortage situation triggered a number of researches in this profession that enabled the relevant authority to identify the actual problems. This guided them in developing an intervention mechanism to save the situation. As a matter of fact, the current statistics shows a great improvement in the field and it this continues, then, nurses shortage will only be a thing of the past.

The current survey indicates that the level of individuals interested in the nursing career has outgrown the capacity of nursing schools in the United States. Based on the AACN report, the nursing schools in U.S turned down 68938 eligible applicants from the enrollment in the program of baccalaureate and graduate nursing in 2014 because of budget constraints, and insufficient clinical preceptors, classroom space, clinical sites and number of faculty (AACN, 2015).  This shows that there is hope for the future. Increase in the level of enrollment demonstrates that people’s perception toward this profession is changing. However, this is not a 100% guarantee to the end of shortage. The rate of job retention in the field is also quite low. Based on a staff survey conducted in 2009, the retention rate was below 60% in all categories of nursing (American Health Care Association, 2011). This demonstrates that high enrolment does not guarantee that all qualified nurses will work in the field until retirement. Although the situation is better, more need to be done to ensure at least 90% retention in the field.


AACN. (2015). Nursing faculty shortage. Retrieved from <>

American Health Care Association. (2011). Report of findings 2009 nursing facility staff retention and turnover survey. Department of Research. Retrieved from <>

Goodin, H. J. (2003). The nursing shortage in the United States of America: An integrative review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 43(4), 335-350.


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