California’s Nursing Labor Force: Demand, Supply, and Shortages (2004)


Joanne Spetz, Jordan Rickles, Paul Ong

Jan. 30, 2004

This report provides a descriptive overview of the nursing labor market with a focus on the institutions and regulations that affect the labor market. The authors provide in-depth information about the demand for nurses, and explore the types of health care providers that employ nurses and the regulations they face. The supply side of the labor market is described with descriptions of the characteristics of the current supply of nurses, and the flows of nurses into and out of the workforce. The authors also explain how the demand and supply for nurses lead to the labor market outcomes of employment levels, wages, and fringe benefits, and present information about inter-firm mobility of nurses and working conditions. 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 offered in the conclusion of the report.