In 2000, the national supply of full-time equivalent RNs was estimated at 1.89 million and demand was estimated at 2 million, a shortage of 110,000 or 6 percent. The shortage is expected to increase slightly until 2010, when it will reach 12 percent. At that point, the shortage will escalate rapidly, to 20 percent in 2015 and 29 percent in 2020, if not addressed."
The situation in Texas is not encouraging, either. According to a State Health Workforce Profile conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration, Texas lags significantly behind other states in the number of RNs per 100,000 population. In 1996, of nearly 137,000 RNs in the state, more than 120,000 were employed in nursing, resulting in 633.4 RNs per 100,000 population, compared to the national average of 798.
For nurse practitioners, Texas again falls short, according to the HRSA Health Workforce Profiles. In 1998, Texas had nearly 3,147 nurse practitioners, or 16 per 100,000 population, compared to the national average of 26.3. The report states, "Texas had one of the lowest ratios of nurse practitioners per capita in the nation."
*SOURCE: July 2002 report of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Health Professions and National Center for Health Workforce Analysis titled "Projected Supply, Demand and Shortages of Registered Nurses: 2000-2020."