Visualizing the Nursing Shortage by State [Interactive Map]

What happens when the nation’s largest job category runs out of people to fill the demand?

Hopefully we’ll never find out. But the fact is that there is a nursing shortage in the United States which is rapidly wreaking havoc on the healthcare industry because of two words: baby boomers.

As you’ve probably heard, the largest generation in our nation’s history, 75 million people to be precise, is reaching an age that typically requires increased medical care. That same group of people makes up over half of the nursing workforce, which means they are getting to retire and leave holes in the workforce.

Add in the 32 million Americans who have new insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act and you have a perfect storm rocking the healthcare community.

Colleges are rapidly working to meet the demand but they are up against some stark statistics. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be 1.05 million RN job openings through 2022. Of those openings, as many as 300,000 won’t be filled in time with current graduation trends, according to a 2012 study by the American Journal of Medical Quality (AJMQ).

What does this mean for you? We’ve pulled together the shortage statistics for each state and compiled them into an interactive map. Click on your state and find out how the nursing shortage could impact patient care and employment needs near you.


The shortage of nurses in America is real and is only going to intensify in coming years. According to the AJMQ study, the worst of the pain will be felt in highly populated areas like the southern and western states.

Help your state safeguard against this alarming concern for quality care by joining millions of other nurses who have committed to a career caring for others. It is an exciting time to join the healthcare industry. With the high demand for jobs, surging technological innovations and strong salary growth, there is no better time than now to become a nurse.

Check out the School of Nursing home page for more information about the nursing program at Rasmussen College.

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college and Public Benefit Corporation.

Katy is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She enjoys creating engaging content to help former, current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.

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