California’s Nursing Labor Force: Demand, Supply, and Shortages (2008)


Joanne Spetz, Jordan Rickles, Wendy Dyer, Laurie Hailer, Paul Ong

Jun. 01, 2008

In recent years, attention has focused on the nursing profession due to a crippling shortage of registered nurses (RNs) that has been reported throughout California, the United States, and in many other countries. California’s nursing shortage is among the most severe in the United States and many of the state’s hospitals are having great difficulty recruiting and retaining licensed nurses. This Nurse Workforce Initiative Final Labor Market Report provides an in depth view of the labor market of nurses in California. It looks at the types of health care providers which hire nurses, and the regulations these providers face. Both the supply and demand side of the labor market is examined as well as labor market outcomes including employment levels, wages, and fringe benefits. Nursing shortages are described in depth, with an explanation of the economics underlying them and a review of potential solutions. Directions for future analysis are also discussed.