Nurses are integral to our nation’s health care system. They treat, educate and support patients and their families while assisting doctors with essential tasks, providing a unique set of skills. Yet unfortunately, we are in the midst of a nursing shortage that is projected to intensify in the coming years. There are several reasons for this shortage including increased nursing demand due to an aging population, a shortage in nursing students, and a shortage in nursing school faculty.

This shortage has led to insufficient nursing staff in certain health care settings, leading to high on-the-job stress, which exacerbates the problem by creating high turnover in the nursing profession. It can also affect patient health outcomes. The nursing shortage is felt in nearly every community, but rural communities face significant challenges recruiting and compensating prospective nurses.



  • KHI News, September 8, 2013
    2013-09-09 12:42
  • Kaiser Health News, December 6, 2012
    2012-12-06 12:35
  • Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2012
    2012-09-27 10:50
  • Kaiser Health News, August 3, 2012
    2012-08-03 08:22
  • Kaiser Health News, August 3, 2012
    2012-08-03 08:20



  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  • U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition.

  • A consortium of acute care healthcare agencies committed to the use of evidence-based practices (EBP) through a collaborative model designed to promote shared learning and participation.

  • A database that collects and evaluates unit-specific nurse-sensitive data from hospitals in the United States.

  • Offers solutions-driven approaches to the toughest health care challenges through three areas of focus: Leadership programs, research and consulting services.

  • Healthy Work Environment Initiative


  • Issues in Missouri Health Care 2011: Issue briefs exploring the challenges facing Missourian's and their health care system. Developed by Health Management Associates and funded by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City and the Missouri Foundation for Health.

  • Supports the delivery of quality health care by nurses and other health care providers through education, collaboration, and information.

  • Focused on innovation in nursing practice and quality outcomes for citizens in Kansas and Missouri.


  • Registered nurses (RNs) constitute the largest healthcare occupation, with 2.6 million jobs, and about 60 percent of all RN jobs are in hospitals.

    U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition.

  • Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2008 to 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. National reports estimate a national nursing shortage of up to one million nurses in the next 10-15 years.

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration:; Bi-State Nursing Workforce Innovation Center.

  • Research has increasingly linked education level of nurses and patient outcomes, indicating a need for more baccalaureate-prepared nurses to ensure access to high quality, safe patient care.

    American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Nursing Shortage Fact Sheet:

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