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Date of this Version



American Journal of Medical Quality 27(3) 241–249; DOI: 10.1177/1062860611416634


Registered nurses (RNs) play a critical role in health care delivery. With an aging US population, health care demand

is growing at an unprecedented pace. Using projected changes in population size and age, the authors developed

demand and supply models to forecast the RN job shortage in each of the 50 states. Letter grades were assigned

based on projected RN job shortage ratios. The number of states receiving a grade of “D” or “F” for their RN

shortage ratio will increase from 5 in 2009 to 30 by 2030, for a total national deficit of 918 232 (725 619 - 1 112 112)

RN jobs. There will be significant RN workforce shortages throughout the country in 2030; the western region will

have the largest shortage ratio of 389 RN jobs per 100 000. Increased efforts to understand shortage dynamics are


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