Nurse deficit could reach 2.1 million by 2025, study finds

Over the next three years, high turnover and an ill-prepared healthcare industry could widen the nursing gap by 2.1 million workers, new research suggests. 

That number comes from the Global Workforce Intelligence Project through an analysis conducted by The Josh Bersin Co., a workforce strategy research and advisory firm, and Eightfold, a talent management software company, according to a Sept. 14 news release from Josh Bersin. 

The companies analyzed the American healthcare workforce — more than 20 million workers — in an artificial intelligence-powered database. 

Nurses make up the largest group of healthcare professionals at 5.8 million workers, the analysis concluded. However, with hospitals reporting nurse turnover rates of up to 60 percent and increasing demands on the healthcare system, that number is insufficient, Josh Bersin concluded. 

The Josh Bersin Co. and Eightfold used data from the "2022 NSI National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report" to project the number of nurses leaving, entering and remaining in the workforce each year. They estimate that a turnover rate of 17 percent and entry rate of 6 percent per year, coupled with increasing demand and a parallel supply need, will leave the system short 2.1 million nurses by 2025. 

Investing in technology and transformation could reduce the number of nurses needed by 20 percent, the companies said.

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