Workforce environment complicated by a critical nursing shortage

The nursing shortage that pervades the U.S. exhibits itself at all levels — local, state and national. No large metro or small town is immune — and the problem is most severe is rural areas. The current jobs downturn has disguised the problem — but the deficit remains real and serious.

The problem is not lack of interest in nursing as a career. Just the opposite. Across the U.S., qualified applicants far exceed capacity to educate them. The long-standing problem: insufficient facilities, student slots and faculty to train them. While nursing schools everywhere have scrambled to increase capacity, to prepare more nurses faster, the problem won’t be solved soon. Projections call for a nursing deficit through 2030.