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States with the Highest Shortage of Nurses

There has been much speculation in the past few years regarding the severity of the current or impending nursing shortages in various states throughout the U.S. There have been reports of shortages of nurses at local schools, shortages of nurse faculty at colleges, and shortages at the professional level as well. Aspiring nursing students who visit Nursing Classes Online will benefit by knowing which states currently have a significant nursing shortage. Focusing on these states may prove to be the best way for nursing students to find a job in the near future.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for nurses will increase as the population of elderly people continues to increase. The number of employed RNs is expected to increase by around 26 percent by 2020; the number of employed LPNs and LVNs is expected to increase by 22 percent. Below are just some of the states that will most likely have a nursing shortage in the near future.


Nurses in the public school system of Duval County currently rotate shifts between nine different schools. According to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), Florida currently ranks 48th in the nurse-to-student ratio. Administrative staff that have been trained by a school nurse handle students when no nurse is available. The consistently high population of elderly people in this state is another reason that Florida routinely experiences nurse shortages.


According to the NASN, California ranks 45th in the nurse-to-student ratio; there’s around 2,100 students per school nurse in California. There are times when just one RN is responsible for the health care of as many as 18,000 students in one district. As of June 2012, California was suffering from a shortage of about 290,000 RNs, 83,000 CNAs, and 64,000 LPNs. The average hourly salary of $25.45 for a nurse in California was the highest in the U.S for 2011.

New York

There’s been a nursing shortage in this state for more than two decades. More than 60 percent of the RNs in New York are currently required to work voluntary overtime. In an effort to attract more nurses, state officials have increased the salary and benefits for nurses working in New York. Nurses who work close to NYC can eventually expect a salary to average around $37 per hour.


Michigan actually has the worst school nurse-to-student ratio in the U.S; there are over 4,400 students for each school nurse in this state. State officials are projecting a shortage of around 18,000 nurses in Michigan for 2014. There are 143 hospitals in Michigan; the average nurse is typically responsible for four to twelve patients at a time. The Michigan Health Council learned in 2008 that 39 percent of the active RNs in the state plan to retire within the next decade.

According to the Department of Labor, the nursing field will have the fastest growth of any industry from 2010 into 2020. Nurses may account for one-third of the total job growth in the healthcare industry over the next 10 years. This is one of the major reasons that nursing students will benefit by focusing on states with nursing shortages.

This article was written by Roger Grabow, a career advisor and avid blogger who loves to share his knowledge online. He writes this on behalf of Nursing Classes Online, a great source of information when looking for nursing classes.

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