Nursing Workforce Numbers Rebound After Pandemic, Study Finds

The nursing workforce recovered in 2022 and 2023 from a substantial drop in numbers during the pandemic, according to a study published this week in JAMA Health Forum. Researchers also found the forecasted growth of the future workforce will be large enough to replace RNs who will retire and further expand the RN workforce by roughly 1.2 million by 2035 ─ similar to what had been forecasted before the pandemic. However, workforce growth was driven by RNs working outside of hospital settings. The percentage working in hospitals dropped from 60.3% before the pandemic to 57.8% after and was due to declines in employment among RNs over age 40. The researchers used data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census Current Population Survey. (JAMA Health Forum study, 2/16/24)