The US Nursing Shortage: A State-by-State Breakdown

The US Nursing Shortage: A State-by-State Breakdown
The US Nursing Shortage: A State-by-State Breakdown

The nursing shortage is expected to become even more acute over the next few years as the number of registered nurses in the country declines for the third consecutive year. The shortage is expected to be especially acute in states with high concentrations of nursing students, such as California, New York, and Texas. In California alone, there are currently only 19,200 nurses on the job market. In New York, there are only 17,200 nurses available. And in Texas, there are only 18,100 registered nurses. These shortages have become so pronounced that some states are actually banning nurse layoffs in order to keep their nursing population at a sufficient level to meet demand. Read on discover how different states cope with a nursing shortage and what you can do to avoid being left behind when the job search begins.

California: The Nurseland

Many California employers are experiencing a large shortage of nurses, especially in areas with large concentrations of nursing students. California has a large number of well-paying jobs in technology and health care, as well as a growing number of jobs in other service industries. Given its high cost of living, however, it’s not always easy to find a job as a nurse there.

If you’re looking for a career with steady growth and great benefits, then you should definitely consider working as a nurse. But California is home to an entire state — and in many ways, a large country. With such vast geographic areas to cover, it can be difficult to find the perfect job in your field.

New York: The Market-Driven State

New York is home to some of the world’s most impressive medical facilities and is one of the top five places to work as a nurse in the U.S. That said, New York has a large and growing nursing shortage. In fact, the state of New York has the largest nursing shortage in the country. To make matters worse, the supply of registered nurses in the state is projected to decrease by 10,000 over the next decade.

Texas: The Lone Star State

Texas is one of 19 states with a nursing shortage. This is a problem in large part due to the fact that the number of nursing students in the state has grown at a much faster rate than the number of nurses being hired. In order to keep up with growing demand for services, many nursing facilities are being forced to close their doors.

California: Regional Residuals

In addition to being home to some of the country’s most inspiring female scientists and inventors, California is also home to a large number of skilled, understaffed, and undervalued nursing professionals. As such, the state has a surplus of nurses that it is unable to fully utilize. In order to meet increasing demand for services, such as in the area of advanced practice nursing, some of these specialty areas are being “capped” at 25% of the total number of registered nurses in the state.

New York: Urban Surplus

Although New York City has the largest number of registered nurses in the country, the state overall has a surplus of nurses compared to other parts of the country. This is mainly the result of an aging baby boomer population that is experiencing a greater number of medical conditions. As such, there is a growing demand for care in New York City’s boroughs and Sustainability of Urban Health Care, Inc., a nonprofit group focusing on sustainability of health care and related services, is researching the best practices for health care in the five boroughs.

Texas: Rural Residuals

Although there are more than 1.3 million registered nurses in the U.S., only 18,100 of them work in Texas. As such, the state has a large number of nurses available to assist in managing the state’s health care needs. However, the state has a large number of rural areas that are unable to benefit from the services of the larger urban areas. To make up for this, the Texas Legislature has passed a law mandating that each rural county must have a minimum of one nursing facility.


The American nursing shortage is expected to get worse in the coming years. Currently, there are only 19,200 nurses available to work in all 50 states, and the number is expected to fall by about 5,000 over the next decade. Because of these projected shortages, some states will be forced to pass legislation giving nurses more power to layoff employees. Unfortunately, some of these measures will also make it more difficult for graduates to find jobs.

Of course, if you’re interested in a career that offers steady growth, good benefits, and a great work-life balance, then a career as a nurse may be ideal. But if you’re interested in a field with high competition for jobs, and one in which you may have to layoff employees to keep the job market from closing, then you should probably look elsewhere.

Noah Chapman
Hello, Im Noah Chapman. Im Editor And SEO analysis for Im a man with 3 beautiful angels towards me. That my beautiful wife, and two beautiful daughters.