The supply of nurses in the U.S. is looking up—but not everywhere.
Employment for registered nurses is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency still expects 203,800 job openings in the field each year, but it’s likely these vacancies will be centralized in key areas of the country, while others will experience steep competition for jobs.
Another government projection of supply and demand for RNs suggests that, by 2030, there will be a surplus of 53,700 full-time equivalents in Florida, compared with a shortage of 44,500 in California, according to a 2017 report from the Health Resources and Services Administration.
“These projections highlight the inequitable distribution of the nursing workforce across the United States, as recent research shows that nursing workforce represents a greater problem with distribution across states than magnitude at the national level,” the report reads.
There’s also variation in the type of nurses most in-demand. “It’s both regional, but also specialty within nursing,” said Kendra McMillan, a senior policy adviser with the American Nurses Association. “How many nurses do we have that are going into labor and delivery, for example? How many nurses do we have electing to go into the (intensive-care unit)?”