New AACN Talking Points on Health Affairs Article on Registered Nurse Supply

Health Affairs Article on Registered Nurse Supply

On December 5, 2011, the journal Health Affairs published an article titled Registered Nurse Supply Grows Faster than Projected Amid Surge in New Entrants Ages 23-26, which focused on a large cohort of younger nurses entering the profession and the impact this may have on the future workforce. Funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, this study was conducted by Drs. David Auerbach, Peter Buerhaus, and Douglas Staiger who found a 62% increase in the number of 23-26 year olds who became registered nurses (RNs) between 2002 and 2009. Though welcome news given the rapid aging of the nursing workforce, the study authors do not conclude that nursing shortage is over given the growing demand for nursing care by older adults, new opportunities for nurses through healthcare reform, and the need for more highly educated RNs.

Click here to view some talking points that AACN developed to help clarify some of the issues raised in the article and what this means in relation to the nursing shortage. Please note that co-author Dr. Peter Buerhaus has graciously provided some new comments to AACN about the article that you are encouraged to share with colleagues and other stakeholders.


The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) is the national voice for university and four-year college education programs in nursing. Representing more than 670 member schools of nursing at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN's educational, research, governmental advocacy, data collection, publications, and other programs work to establish quality standards for bachelor's- and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, research, and practice.


Robert Rosseter, 202-463-6930, ext. 231