About Michigan’s Nursing Shortage

April 04, 2007

The nursing workforce shortage of today and expected over the next two decades is driven by a broader set of factors:

A growing and aging population. Michigan and the nation is growing older.

Fewer workers. There are fewer younger people entering the nursing workforce.

An aging workforce. The physical demands of nursing make it difficult for individuals to work in the profession past their mid- to late-50s. In Michigan, 18 percent of active registered nurses are age 55 and older*. 31 percent of all RNs and almost 33% of LPNs say they plan to practice for only one to ten years*.

A mismatch of diversity. The racial and ethnic makeup of the current nursing workforce in Michigan does not reflect the increasing diverse population of the state. In Michigan, 8% of RNs are African-American; 1% of RNs are American Indian/Alaskan Native; 3% of RNs are Asian or Pacific Islander*. In Michigan, 2% of RNs and LPNs are Hispanic*.

More options for women and need to recruit males to the profession. Women have left nursing for other professions and not enough men have entered the profession to take their place. In Michigan, 8% of active RNs are males and 4% of LPNs are males*.

* Information from the Michigan Licensure Survey 2006.