Nurse shortfall could approach half million in three years: research

The U.S. could face a labor gap of up to 450,000 nurses by 2025, according to new research out Wednesday.

An analysis from McKinsey & Company specifically found a potential shortage of between 200,000 and 450,000 nurses who are available for direct patient care. 

To correct this, the U.S. would “need to more than double the number of new graduates entering and staying in the nursing workforce every year for the next three years straight.”

In addition to the shortage of nurses, the analysis said that by 2025 the U.S. could face increased inpatient demand due to COVID-19 — as well as more patient demand from the aging population generally. 

Prior to the pandemic, McKinsey said that the rate of nursing licenses grew at around 4 percent per year. But now, 29 percent of registered nurses who participated in the survey said they were “likely to leave their current role in direct patient care” if not leave the workforce entirely.

The analysis suggested working to attract more people to nursing roles, increasing the availability of academic and clinical spots for prospective nurses and rethinking clinical education.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have been on the frontlines as they have felt the burden of the virus, endured long hours and faced heightened risks of exposure.

A recent poll from National Nurses United showed that nurses top concerns now are staffing issues and workplace violence.

In that survey, 48 percent of respondents said there has been a slight or significant increase in workplace violence, and 69 percent of nurses said staffing shortages had become slightly or significantly worse.

Category: Healthcare