US must produce 1.1 million nurses by 2022 to meet demand

The United States will need to produce 1.1 million new registered nurses by 2022 to fill jobs and replace retirees, according to an announcement from the American Nurses Association (ANA).

About one in five nurses is set to retire soon, according to statistics from ANA. To deal with the aging population, increased access to care after healthcare reform and the new value-based healthcare model, the ANA recommended actions on federal funding, nurse education and hiring practices to make sure the industry meets demand and focuses on quality.

Despite debate about the validity of a nursing shortage, the number of registered nurses across the country continues to rise, reaching 2.7 million in 2012 and growing even more since then, FierceHealthcare previously reported. The problem isn't just in the U.S.--it's global. India needs 2.4 million more nurses, according to a 2010 report from the World Health Organization, while Canada anticipates a shortage of 600,000 nurses by 2022.

"We're seeing mixed signals today in the nurse employment market. There have been layoffs by some hospitals at the same time that 'registered nurse' ranks as the most advertised position nationwide," ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, Ph.D., R.N., said in the announcement.

ANA recommendations include:

  • Increase federal funding for Title VIII by 12 percent for 2015.

  • Bolster nurse education by developing and recruiting more educators, increasing capacity of nursing programs, replacing aging faculty members and boosting incentives to teach.

  • Highlight the importance of transitioning from education to practice. Encourage new hires to work with experienced RNs.

As hospitals hire more nurses, leaders should consider recruiting and hiring more male nurses to diversify the hospital workforce and ultimately benefit patients, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement (.pdf)
- check out the ANA statistics