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Projected growth in nurse workforce

In a reversal of previous predictions, a study published in the December issue of Health Affairs found significant growth in the number of young people entering nursing during the past decade. The number of young registered nurses (ages 23 to 26) peaked at more than 190,000 full-time equivalents in 1979 but, by 2002, had dropped to a low of 102,000. With growth rates not seen since the 1970s, the number of young RNs has increased by 62 percent since 2002. The authors conclude that there is likely to be continued growth of the nurse workforce at a rate more rapid during the next two decades than previously anticipated.

Source: Auerbach, D. I., Buerhaus, P. L., and Staiger, D. O. Registered nurse supply grows faster than projected amid surge In new entrants ages 23–26. Health Affairs. 30(12):2286-2292, Dec. 2011. http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/30/12/2286.abstract#aff-3

Posted by American Hospital Association Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org.

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