As many nursing statistics reveal, the nursing profession has sustained and attained the highest honesty and ethical standards. But let's first define what the word “nurse” entails exactly.

Simply put, nurses are trained to provide care for the sick and have a significant role in tackling healthcare issues. Anyone can assist the physically unfit; however, it takes a special type of training and professionalism to provide the required assistance to the sick.

So, without further ado, let's take a look at some of the most interesting stats concerning this profession.

  • The employment rate of registered nurses will grow by 15% in the future
  • The nursing unemployment rate is 1% in 2020
  • In 2018, 17.1% of nurses possessed a master's degree
  • By 2030, the biggest nursing shortage will be seen in California
  • About 47% of military nurses work overtime
  • 47.5% of registered nurses are older than 50
  • 15.3% of the elderly complained about being neglected
  • Nurses walk up to five miles during a shift.

Nursing Statistics 2020 — Current Situation and Predictions

Unsurprisingly, the nursing job demand is expected to grow steadily in the future. According to most Americans, it’s one of the most ethical and selfless jobs, which certainly motivates people to join this profession. We will show you the most recent numbers and statistics related to nursing jobs, as well as some future predictions.

1. There are around 2.83 million nurses in the US.

The number of nurses in the US has increased considerably over the years. Statistics show that there are about 2.83 million registered nurses, including about 690,038 licensed practical nurses (LPN) in the US.

2. The registered nurse profession will grow by 7% in the future.

According to some estimates, the RN profession will grow a lot faster compared to some other occupations. Moreover, statistics in nursing jobs show that this growth is also related to the increasing rate of chronic conditions such as obesity, cancer, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and other viral diseases.

3. Up to 200,000 new RNs are required to fill the positions of retiring nurses.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nursing employment projections for 2016–2026 place Registered Nursing (RN) among the top occupations, with a predicted 15% increase in employment by 2026. More than 200,000 new RNs are needed annually to fill vacancies and replace retiring nurses. In 2030, New Jersey is expected to be short on 11,000 nurses, which will make it the third-largest deficit of any state.

4. The nursing unemployment rate in 2020 is only 1%.

As the demand for nurses increases, it's no wonder that this occupation’s unemployment rate is only 1%. This unemployment rate is considerably below the average for professional occupations.

5. 59% of all healthcare professionals are nurses.

According to the 2020 State Of The World's Nursing Report, nursing is the largest healthcare sector. There are 27.9 million nurses in the world, and 19.3 million of them are professional nurses.

According to the American Nurses Association, there should be a 20.2% increase in the number of RNs in the US by 2022, mirroring the number of aging “baby boomers.” Sadly, these numbers may be just wishful thinking. A nursing career isn’t easy, and the following statistics will tell us more about it.

6. The biggest nursing shortage will be seen in California by 2030.

It seems that the biggest difference between supply and demand for nurses will occur in California. Nursing shortage statistics reveal that California will lack around 44,500 nurses by 2030. On the other hand, Florida will be the state with the least nursing shortage, along with Ohio and Virginia.

7. Undergraduate nursing school programs rejected over 56,000 applicants.

It is disheartening to see students being denied the opportunity to pursue their dream simply because nursing schools lack capable hands, instructors, or resources to promote the required knowledge and expertise. As it seems, the nursing school acceptance rate isn't very high.

8. Over 27% of nurses with two to four years of experience plan to leave their job within two years.

Stress, workload, and dissatisfaction with the environment are just some of the reasons practicing nurses quit their jobs. Additionally, the mentioned staff shortage is one of the main factors that make most nurses quit their jobs.

9. There are four times more registered nurses than licensed physicians in the US.

Registered nursing facts show that the nursing profession involves a lot of work and is quite extensive. Nurses have to provide healthcare to a wide array of patients, including preventive and primary care.

They take care of a wide range of people spanning across different ages (from children to the elderly), and they have to be sufficiently trained in handling all the duties their job entails.

10. Around 84.5% of licensed RNs are employed in nursing.

Nurses are one of the nation’s largest employable professions. There are more than 3.8 million RNs nationwide, and their number keeps increasing.

11. Statistics about nurses show that 17.1% held a master's degree in 2018.

In 2018, only a small portion of RNs had a master’s degree (17.1%), and only 1.9% had a doctoral degree. Sadly, this exceeds the present need for nurses with such qualifications to carry out clinical specialties, research, and teaching roles.

12. About 88% of employers preferred nurses with a bachelor’s degree.

According to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ survey, 46% of employers require that new nurses possess a bachelor's degree. Other facts about nursing reveal that around 88% of employers favored baccalaureate-prepared RNs.

13. About 47% of military nurses regularly work overtime.

Out of the total number of nurses, military nurses (47%) are most likely to work additional hours every week, and school nurses are the least likely to work overtime (5.7%).

This is alarming, as fatigue is one of the most common consequences of working overtime, which can be detrimental to nurses’ health. Longer working hours and high nursing burnout rates also reduce the quality of work and care given to patients.

14. There were 3,096,700 jobs for registered nurses in 2019.

According to The Bureau of Labour Statistics’ data, there were more than 3 million jobs for registered nurses last year. In addition to that, the job outlook is predicted to increase by 7% from 2019 to 2029, mostly due to the increasing rates of chronic conditions (such as obesity and diabetes), increased demand for preventive care, and the baby boomers' demand for healthcare services.

15. The nursing turnover rates have decreased by 1.3%.

The current employee turnover stats show that the rate for bedside registered nurses stands at 15.9%. Pediatrics, women’s health, and burn care recorded the lowest turnover rate, while emergency services and behavioral health sectors experienced the highest rate. However, certified nursing assistant turnover exceeded all other positions with a rate of 26.5%.

Nursing Demographics In Detail

Since time immemorial, the female population has always dominated the nursing workforce, but their male counterparts have started catching up in recent years. Nevertheless, both of them have something in common — they have chosen this career path and are ready for more opportunities in this field. What's more, statistics show significant demographics changes, and the following data will tell you more about it.

16. African-Americans made up only 7.8% of registered nurses in 2019.

Interesting facts about nursing workplace diversity reveal that there were 7.8% of black nurses in the US last year. Apart from that, 5.2% of nurses were Asian, 0.3% were American Indians or Alaska Natives, and 0.6% were Native Hawaiians.

17. In 2018, 47.5% of registered nurses were older than 50.

As far as age diversity in the nursing industry is concerned, 47.5% of nurses in the US were older than 50 in 2018. According to the recent NSSRN’s survey, the average age of nurses in the US was 47.9.

18. More than 4 million employed nurses are RNs.

Following these demographics, the largest percentage of nurses are registered nurses, while 920,655 are licensed, practical, or vocational nurses. The highest number of licensed nurses is in Pennsylvania (193,212) and the lowest in Delaware (only 24,112).

19. The nurse gender ratio in Iowa was 16:1 in 2017.

Male vs. female nurses statistics reveal that no state in the US has an equal gender distribution in the nursing field. In 2017, out of approximately 4 million active nurses in the US, only 333,530 were male. Moreover, there's a significant gender pay gap, as male nurses are paid more than female ones.

20. 12% of nurses were men in 2019.

Although there are generally more female workers in the nursing industry, the number of male nurses has grown to 12% in 2019, according to The US Bureau of Labour Statistics. New trends in nursing have led to the steady growth of men opting for a nursing career.

21. 70% of male nurses say that stereotypes are the biggest challenge of entering the profession.

Stereotypes are one of the main culprits for the lack of males in this profession. Many male nurse statistics reveal that males are usually reluctant to join the field due to common misconceptions and stereotypes regarding the nursing profession. However, one way of tackling this issue is using campaigns to reach out to high school and middle school children and spread awareness about the nursing profession.

22. In 2019, 81% of nurses were female in the Western Pacific Region.

The lowest percentage of female nurses was recorded in Africa (65%) and the highest in the Region of the Americas (86%). Moreover, the European region had 84% of female nurses, while there were 79% of female nurses in the rest of the world.

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

Nursing homes are specifically designed for the old, vulnerable, and mentally impaired. Although these care facilities’ primary purpose should be to provide care to the senior citizens, a recent report indicates that millions of elderly are abused each year — but only a fraction of these cases reached the appropriate authority.

23. In 2019, one out of six people aged 60 and above experienced some type of abuse in community settings.

According to recent elder abuse in nursing homes statistics and surveys, several nursing home attendants admitted that they had abused and neglected elderly patients in their care. This didn’t include only physical abuse but also emotional, psychological, social, financial, and even sexual.

24. About 10% of nursing homes posed a risk to the elderly.

Nearly 10% of nursing homes violated care ethics, leading to severe injury and even death (in extreme cases) of their elderly occupants.

25. 15.3% of the elderly complained about gross neglect.

Nursing home neglect statistics show that 15.3% of elders’ abuse complaints are related to gross neglect. Subsequently, the residents are subjected to pain, suffering, harm, and anxiety, as they couldn’t defend themselves nor meet their basic needs.

26. There have been 125.1 coronavirus deaths per 1,000 residents of nursing homes in Massachusetts.

Nursing home statistics show that, as of September 27, there have been approximately 125 deaths per 1,000 people in nursing homes due to the coronavirus. The situation in New Jersey is similar, as there have been 120.1 deaths per 1,000 residents. The lowest number of deaths was recorded in Puerto Rico (0 deaths per 1,000 residents), Wyoming (2 deaths per 1,000 residents), and Alaska (3.1 deaths per 1,000 residents).

27. Family members exploit 5.2% of the elderly.

Some nursing home occupants are financially exploited by their family members, more precisely, 5.2% of them. Moreover, seniors are more likely to report financial abuse than any other form of abuse.

Other Interesting Nursing Statistics

Nursing is a significant part of the healthcare industry. Therefore, there are many interesting nursing statistics, some of which you can find in this section.

28. 85% of Americans think that nurses have the highest level of ethics and honesty.

Nurses are at the top of the list, as about 85% of people consider that they have “very high” or “high” ethical standards. This number hasn’t changed much since 2016, as the number of satisfied Americans was 82% in 2017 and 84% in 2018.

29. 52% of all healthcare workers’ injuries are sprains and strains.

Nursing injuries statistics point out that healthcare workers experience a variety of injuries at work, and most of them are related to sprains and strains. Overexertion is the leading cause of all injuries (around 60%), along with slips, trips, and falls (around 20%).

30. Registered nurses approximately earn less than $72,000 per year.

Sadly, nurses are severely underpaid, despite the fact that they are the ones who work the most during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. According to the nursing pay rate statistics, it's utterly discouraging that nurses have low salaries and work 10-hour shifts or even longer. Apart from being underpaid, nurses have the highest risk of getting sick, and their stress levels at work are worryingly high.

31. 80% of registered nurses should have a minimum of a bachelor's degree by 2020.

There is a need for a well-educated nurse workforce as a response to the constantly changing healthcare system. Some of the nursing trends suggest that it’s recommended that nurses reach high levels of education to be able to do their jobs efficiently and produce better results.

32. Nurses walk up to four–five miles during their 12-hour shift.

Nurses walk much more during their shift than the average American for a whole day. As walking too much can cause stress and fatigue, nurses and healthcare leaders try to reduce the number of steps nurses have to make during shifts.

Nursing Statistics — Conclusion

We hope that anyone who considers pursuing a nursing career will find these statistics useful and beneficial for their research. For those who are just curious or require nursing care, they can come in handy as well.

Overall, every profession has its own pros and cons, and nursing is no exception. What's more, statistics are a logical way of finding out more about a given profession and answering vital questions regarding your career choice.

Hopefully, this new insight will help you in your quest to become a member of this highly demanded profession or answer all your questions about it.