A colorful illustration of a healthcare recruiter looking at a 2x2 grid of nursing candidates to represent the search for talent during a nurse shortage

Infographic: State of Nursing Jobs in the United States

Our nation’s nursing talent shortage is one of the most pressing challenges faced by healthcare recruiters. Their tireless efforts play a vital role in connecting talented nurses with the institutions that depend on their expertise and compassion.

Combining proprietary SeekOut data with external sources, we’ve turned our analysis into an infographic. This research highlights gaps in critically needed nursing staff and the costly reliance on travel nurses that challenges many of our nation’s health systems.

Below are some highlights from the analysis—download the complete infographic to see more.

As open roles increase, the nursing talent shortage continues

An illustrated image from an infographic about the nursing shortage in the US, with text "33% more open nursing roles; Open nursing roles in the US grew from 613K to 815K in 2022."

Driven by high turnover from pandemic burnout and a large number of nurses reaching retirement age, the nationwide shortage of nursing talent is further complicated by an aging population demanding care.

“It’s still a difficult and competitive market for talent in healthcare,” said Cathy Henesey, Vice President of Talent Acquisition at AdventHealth and President of the Association of Talent Acquisition Professionals. “Based on data from the Department of Labor, we expect the nursing shortage to get worse in 2023 and 2024.” 

An illustrated image from an infographic about the nursing shortage in the US, with text "2x openings in 7 states; 7 states with the greatest growth in nursing roles all more than doubled in openings" and displaying bar graphs that look like syringes, with the following states, their number of added roles, and percentage of growth in nurse openings: Wisconsin +9,513 (129%), Louisiana +5,924 (126%), Arkansas +5,388 (119%), Iowa +8,091 (118%), Maine +3,664 (116%), Montana +2,399 (115%), Oregon +6,622 (109%).

Where is the nursing shortage most dire?

An illustrated image from an infographic about the nursing shortage in the US, displaying data about 3 states with the lowest nurses-per-bed ratio: West Virginia (3 nurses per bed, 6,620 open roles represent 31% of the state's 14,579 nurse population), Maryland (5 nurses per bed, 17,391 open roles represent 25% of the state's 35,001 nurse population), Oregon (7 nurses per bed, 12,723 open roles represent 22% of the state's 45,382 nurse population); and text at the very bottom reads "Even if all three states filled every open role, they'd still be below the national average nurses-per-bed ratio."

Generally, less populous areas are more dependent on travel nurses and may have the greatest potential risk of experiencing shortages in the future.

These numbers paint a difficult picture, reinforcing the need for sustainable solutions to ensure healthcare organizations have the staffing resources they need to deliver exceptional care. 

An illustrated image from an infographic about the nursing shortage in the US, showing a US map with four highlighted states that rely most on travel nurses, each with the percentage of open nursing roles that are for travel nurses: Wyoming 46%, West Virginia 48%, New Mexico 48%, and Alaska 62%.

Related reading: How Health Systems Can Reduce Travel Nurse Spend with Talent Sourcing

How can healthcare recruiters expand their search for nursing talent?

Healthcare organizations don’t have an effective way to look for passive talent, and have a hard time finding accurate and up-to-date contact information for nurses and other healthcare candidates. There hasn’t been a good way to search state registries and get a comprehensive view of nursing talent—until now.

An illustrated image from an infographic about the nursing shortage in the US, showing stats about SeekOut for Healthcare, a solution for finding nursing talent, including 9.7M nurses (100% of licensed nurses in 45+ states), 90+ Power Filters (to search by nurse speciality), Expanded search capabilities for international nurses and lapsed license holders, and search and filtering capabilities for license state, compact states, license type and status, and years with active license.

Learn how SeekOut for Healthcare can help your organization find the right talent and improve sourcing efficiency to stay competitive—request a demo today

Dive into more of our analysis and download the complete infographic.

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