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Seeking Strategies to Address Wisconsin’s Nursing Shortage

In Wisconsin and across the country, one of the greatest workforce challenges facing the health care industry – and employers as a whole – is a shortage of registered nurses. Recent projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate that 525,000 registered nurses (RNs) will leave the profession between 2012 and 2022 and that the national RN workforce will need to expand from 2.71 million to 3.24 million (a gain of 19%, or 526,800 workers) during the same period. Together, the need for replacements of retiring workers and new openings mean that approximately one million nurses will be needed to meet the nation’s demand for nurses by 2022.1 Similar data indicate, meanwhile, that the State of Wisconsin will need to grow its RN workforce by 24% between 2010 and 2020.