Nursing

Web site spotlight: Nursing workforce getting more diverse, older

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 2, 2010

An extensive federal survey of nursing trends from 2004 to 2008 shows a growing diversity of backgrounds in an increasing registered nurse workforce.

The report—entitled The Registered Nurse Population: Initial Findings from the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses—also reveals a trend of more highly educated, male, and foreign-trained nurses.

The trends, however, showed dramatic increases among older registered nurses, prompting concerns from officials about retirements impeding the growth of the nursing workforce.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, released the report this month. Published every four years by HRSA's Bureau of Health Professions, the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses is what officials describe as the preeminent source of statistics on trends over time for the nation's largest health profession.

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