There are a lot of job openings in the United States right now, and one of the most in-demand professions is nursing. This is a topic that has been all over the news. There is a nursing shortage across the country for a few reasons.
First, many nurses have gotten burnt out during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have gotten yelled at, abused, and criticized, leading to burnout. Second, many nurses are not being compensated appropriately for the work that they do. As a result, they decide to leave.
When nurses leave the field, it puts more pressure on those that remain, creating a positive feedback loop that leads to burnout. This is one of the biggest reasons why there is a nursing shortage right now.
There is also a lack of new nurses entering the profession. Nursing school enrollment is not high enough to compensate for the number of nurses leaving combined with the increased need as the American population trends toward a higher percentage of elderly citizens.
When taking a look at the nursing shortage, it is helpful to consider how many nurses there are in the state per person. In the United States, the average is 9.72 nurses for every 1,000 people. This means that there are some states that have more nurses and some states that have fewer.
Delaware is the state that has the most nurses per segment of the population. According to data from early-2023, Wisconsin has 16.74 nurses per 1,000 people. Some of the other states that have at least ten nurses per 1,000 residents include South Dakota (15.95), New York (15.16), Maine (12.56), Minnesota (12.09), Pennsylvania (11.48), Mississippi (11.25), Virginia (11.21), and Wisconsin (11.04). While these are still states that have had their challenges with finding nurses, they are a lot better off than most of the other states in the country.
On the other hand, there are some states that have really felt the sting of the nursing shortage. The state that has the fewest nurses per segment of the population is Utah with 7.26 nurses per 1,000 people. Other states that have few nurses compared to their population include Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, Vermont, Iowa, North Dakota, and Oklahoma. Each of these states has less than 8 nurses per 1,000 people. These are states that are sorely hurting for nurses right now, and there are some situations where these states are putting incentives in place to encourage people to go into nursing.
There are a few ways that states can encourage people to go into nursing, but the best way to do so is to cover the cost of education. It is not cheap to go to nursing school, and a lot of people hesitate to take on loans to go to nursing school. If states can find a way to make the cost of education more affordable, they will have an easier time convincing people to go to nursing school. Then, they need to convince people to stay in the state.
Nurse Ratio (per 1k)