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2017 National Nursing Workforce Survey

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing and the National Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers have published their latest joint biennial survey results on the nation’s nursing workforce. The report provides a statistical overview and discussion of both registered nurses [RN] and licensed practical/vocational nurses [LPN/LVN]. Survey findings cover these topics:

  • Size of the RN and LPN/LVN workforce nationally and by state
  • Aging of the workforce
  • Gender, race, and ethnic diversity
  • Education
  • Employment and salary
  • Telehealth use

Source: Smiley RA and others. The 2017 national nursing workforce survey. Journal of Nursing Regulation 9(3):S1-S88, Oct. 2018, updated Jan. 2019. https://www.journalofnursingregulation.com/article/S2155-8256(18)30131-5/fulltext

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

MAGNET HOSPITALS: How did the idea come about?

During the nursing shortage of the early 1980s, there were an estimated 100,000 vacancies nationwide and inadequate staffing in over three-quarters of U.S. hospitals.  In an effort to alleviate the shortage, the American Academy of Nursing engaged four AAN fellows to choose a topic and conduct research on nurses employed at hospitals.  The author of this brief article – Muriel Poulin – and her colleagues Margaret McClure, Margaret Sovie and Mabel Wandelt, decided to study the characteristics of hospitals that were doing a good job of retaining nursing staff.  They surveyed 41 hospitals and prepared a report that served as the basis of the later Magnet Recognition Program.

When I stop to consider how much the program has progressed, I cannot get over it.  It has been a remarkable evolution that now includes hundreds of healthcare organizations around the world…” (Dr. Poulin, page 73).


Poulin, M. (2017, February). A remarkable journey: Why the Magnet Recognition Program continues to resonate today. JONA. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(2), 72-73. Click here for publisher’s website: http://journals.lww.com/jonajournal/Abstract/2017/02000/A_Remarkable_Journey__Why_the_Magnet_Recognition.2.aspx

American Nurses Credentialing Center. (2017). ANCC Magnet Recognition Program. Click here: http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Magnet  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2003 rc@aha.org

COMPENSATION: Most nurse managers in this survey earned $80,000 to $120,000 in 2015

The American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) has released the executive summary of a more comprehensive report scheduled to come out by early August 2016 on nurse leader compensation.  These data represent compensation for calendar year 2015.  The compensation data are reported for different job titles and for different types of employers.  Here are some of the findings:

  • There were usable responses from 481 nurse managers
  • Two-thirds of the nurse managers reported 2015 base salary between $80,000 and $120,000
  • There were usable responses from 90 chief nursing officers (CNOs) of health systems
  • Two-thirds of these CNOs reported 2015 base salary of $210,000 or more
  • Half of the system CNOs reported 2015 base salary of $250,000 or more

Source: American Organization of Nurse Executives. (2016). Salary and compensation study for nurse leaders. Chicago: AONE.  Click here:  http://www.aone.org/docs/resources/nurse-leader-salary-summary.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

NEEDLESTICK: What is the sharps injury rate in hospitals?

FINDINGS: 21.37 percutaneous injuries per 100 average daily census from EPINet – 2013

These data are from the International Safety Center, in a survey report called the Exposure Prevention Information Network, or EPINet.  This reporting system was established in 1992 and is distributed to over 1,500 U.S. hospitals.  However, the number of hospitals reporting is much smaller – about 25 U.S. hospitals, per telephone call to the ISC, 434.962.3470 (on 2/24/16).

Source: International Safety Center (no date, 2014?). EPINet report for needlestick and sharp object injuries.  Click here: https://internationalsafetycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Official-2013-NeedleSummary.pdf

FINDINGS: 16.5 sharps injuries per 100 licensed hospital beds in MASSACHUSETTS – 2012

The State of Massachusetts requires hospitals to report their annual sharps injury rates.  Here are the most current data – for 2012:


Type of Hospital Rate of Sharps Injuries per 100 Licensed Beds
Small (less than 100 beds) 14.0
Medium (101-300 beds) 10.3
Large (greater than 300 beds) 26.6
All hospitals 16.5
Teaching 27.7
Non-teaching   9.7

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Occupational Health Surveillance Program. (2014, Aug.). Sharps injuries among hospital workers in Massachusetts: Findings from the Massachusetts Sharps Injury Surveillance System, 2012.  Click here: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/occupational-health/injuries/injuries-hospital-2012.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org


Nurse Executive Competencies: Population Health

New or different competencies may be needed for those leading the shift toward population management to improve patient and community health. The American Organization of Nurse Executives has developed a list of competencies for the nurse leader. Specific ompetencies are listed in each of these overarching areas:

  • Communication and relationship building
  • Knowledge of the health environment
  • Leadership
  • Professionalism
  • Business skills

Source: Nurse executive competencies: population health. American Organization of Nurse Executives, Dec. 2015. http://www.aone.org/resources/population-health-competencies.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050 rc@aha.org

CAREGIVERS: Empathy may lead to compassion fatigue

Caregivers are required to be empathetic with patients, patients’ families, co-workers – and that is before going home to meet the needs of their own families.  In this article from Harvard Business Review, the author suggests that being empathetic is exhausting; empathy is in limited supply; and, it can even erode ethical judgment.  He suggests three ways that a manager can approach improving the situation for workers whose jobs demand a high degree of empathy and may result in overload.

Source: Waytz, A. (2016, Jan.-Feb.). The limits of empathy. Harvard Business Review, 94(1/2), 68-73.  https://hbr.org/2016/01/the-limits-of-empathy Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

NURSES: Average age of hospital RNs is about 43

The average age of RNs working in hospitals has held constant at about 43 years old for at least the past 10 years, according to one of my favorite sources of data on nurse staffing — the Survey of Hours Report — conducted and published by the Labor Management Institute.  Interestingly, this statistic does not vary much based on whether the hospital is a teaching hospital, a community hospital, or a rural hospital.  The findings are based on a survey taken each year, to which about 200 hospitals nationwide respond.

Most of this report is devoted to survey results related to RN to patient ratios for different types of nursing units, hours per patient day for different units, turnover, vacancy, time to hire, patient falls rates, medication error rates, and LOTS of other interesting statistics.

Source: 2014 PSS Survey of Hours Report.  Bloomington, Minn.: Labor Management Institute, p. 448.  [And earlier editions.]  http://lminstitute.com/products  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050 rc@aha.org

HEALTH CARE WORKFORCE: How many boomers? How many Gen X? Percent of nurses and doctors by generation

Here are comparative counts of the distribution of physicians and nurses according to what generation they are part of:


  •   8 percent (silent generation)
  • 44 percent (baby boomers)
  • 38 percent (generation x)
  • 10 percent (millennials)


  •   9 percent (silent generation)
  • 62 percent (baby boomers)
  • 26 percent (generation x)
  •   3 percent (millennials)

Source:  Meilink, Jr., L.A., and Grimes, C. (2015, July). Designs for the ages. Health Facilities Management, 28(7), 30-33.  Retrieved from www.hfmmagazine.com  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

NURSES: RNs increasingly have bachelor’s degree

The percent of registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees (as their highest educational attainment) increased from about 31 percent in 2011 to 38 percent two years later, according to this survey of nurse executives.  In comparison, the percent with RNs with associate degrees decreased a little bit over the same period, from about 44 percent to about 42 percent.  Here is a complete breakdown of the most current statistics, according to this survey which had 336 responses in 2013.


  • 41.5 percent ASSOCIATE
  • 37.8 percent BACHELOR’S
  • 11.6 percent MASTER’S
  •   5.4 percent DIPLOMA
  •   3.6 percent DOCTORATE

Source: Pittman, P., Bass, E., and Hargraves, J. (2015, Feb.). The future of nursing: Monitoring the progress of recommended change in hospitals, nurse-led clinics, and home health and hospice agencies. JONA. The Journal of Nursing Administration, 45(2), 93-99.  Click here to access publisher’s website: http://journals.lww.com/jonajournal/Citation/2015/02000/The_Future_of_Nursing__Monitoring_the_Progress_of.8.aspx  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Staffing a new hospital? You can recruit about 20 to 40 percent from within the health system

Baptist Health South Florida is a faith-based health system with 6 hospitals.  One of these is the West Kendall Baptist Hospital in Miami, which opened in Spring 2011.  This new hospital is notable for several reasons, including that it is the first brand new hospital that was not a total replacement hospital to be built in the Miami area in over three decades.  This article is a description of the start-up of the new hospital that had the goal of achieving Magnet status within two years.  (An application for Magnet status was submitted early in 2014.)

I was intrigued by this fact related to recruiting staff for the new hospital:

  • “…consultative feedback from other health systems opening a new hospital showed that they were able to recruit only 20% to 40% from within their system.  To preserve the BHSF [Baptist Health South Florida] culture, without hurting affiliate entities, WKBH [West Kendall Baptist Hospital] set a target of 50% and, with thoughtful planning and processes, were able to meet this goal.”

Source: Harris, D., and Cohn, T. (2014, Aug.). Designing and opening a new hospital with a culture and foundation of Magnet: an exemplar in transformational leadership. Nurse Leader, 12(4), 62-68, 77.  Click here for the publisher’s website: http://www.nurseleader.com/article/S1541-4612%2813%2900272-3/pdf   Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org