Economics of Health Care and Nursing: How Will Health Reform Affect Demand for RNs?

January 30, 2014

This is a complex question to answer, but recent work published by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies tries to quantify the effect of the ACA. The report by Frogner and Spetz (2013) shows about one-third of the projected increase in RN demand will be derived from the impact of the ACA. The ACA also was estimated to have varying effects across industry sectors. The BLS estimates RN employment in private hospitals will grow by 18.7%; however, only 0.1% of this growth is projected to come from the ACA. In contrast, 10.1% of the estimated 36.4% growth in RN employment in offices of health practitioners is expected to result from implementation of the ACA. These differences have important implications for the future of RN work.

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