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California Forecasts Nursing Shortage of 12,000 By 2014
California's Top Budget Analyst Revises Nursing Shortage Downward from 29,000
Previously, California was expected to have a nursing shortage of 29,000 full-time registered nurses by 2014. According to the Hill's report, California currently has 230,000 registered nurses working full or part time. That translates into about 200,000 full time employees (FTEs). California's demand for registered nurses is expected to increase in future years due to two factors. First, California's population is projected to increase. Second, it's expected to get older.
Two California departments project that approximately 240,000 registered nurses will be needed by 2014. A third study, by UCSF, conducted for BRN in 2005, projects a demand between 241,000 and 257,000. If these forecasts were accurate California would need more than 40,000 registered nurses over the next decade to meet the projected demand for registered nurses.
UCSF projects an increase in registered nurses of 11,000 registered nurses by 2014.
Hill's report states that this forecast now understates the supply for two reasons. First, the UCSF study is based on the assumption those 6,200 new registered nurses will graduate annually.
However, there are currently 110 public and private colleges, 26 of which have added since 2000-2001, about a 25% increase.
According to Hill, the current forecast now understates the supply for two reasons. First, the UCSF study is based on the assumption those 6,200 new registered nurses will graduate annually. However, Hill states that this capacity has increased to 7,500 annually, due to new nursing schools and new nursing programs.
Second, the UCSF study doesn't anticipate an even greater growth factor or "inflow" due to increased future capacity and California can anticipate even more new nurses to graduate annually. Hill finds that California should reasonably expect to see a 10% increase in year-to-year new graduates for the next three years as a result of recent legislative funding initiatives.
After that, even without any new legislative policy actions, Hill believes that it is reasonable to assume an additional 2% year-to-year growth in enrollment at nursing institutions.
Adding this new "inflow" of new graduates, her model forecasts that the supply of registered nurses in California will total about 228,000 registered nurses by 2014, instead of the 211,000 forecast by the UCSF model.
Based upon the still-anticipated need for 240,000 registered nurses by 2014 in California, this would mean that California faces a tremendously reduced nursing shortage of 12,000 registered nurses, instead of the 29,000 previously anticipated. This marks a significant downward revision in the demand for registered nurses over the next decade in California.
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About ASRN: The American Society of Registered Nurses was founded in May 2003 for the purpose of bringing together professional registered nurses. Today, ASRN has active registered nurse members in all 50 States and four US territories. ASRN brings together nurses from all fields of inquiry, regions, and specializations both inside and outside academe in order to expand the study and practice of nursing, and offer support, representation, education, and distinction to its members. Additional information is available on its web site, www.asrn.org.