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Overall, the Midwest has not been hit as hard by the nursing shortage as some other parts of the country. However, recent studies from Michigan and Illinois show problems looming on the horizon.


Michigan. In 2007, for the fourth consecutive year, the Michigan Center for Nursing surveyed nurses who were renewing their license. The survey found that about 27% of active RNs in this license-renewal group were age 55 or older, a higher percentage than in 2005. In 2007 the average age of active RNs licensed in Michigan was 47.3 years.


The survey also found it's not just the nurses nearing retirement age who plan to stop practicing nursing in the near future. About 38% of all active RNs said they planned to practice nursing for one to 10 more years, a higher percentage than in 2005. In the 2007 survey, about 22% of all RNs said they had voluntarily left a nursing position in the last two years. Of that group, about 18% of RNs said they wanted to retire or quit nursing.


Illinois. In October 2007, the Illinois Nursing Workforce Survey Report was published by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. "Mirroring national data, huge numbers of Illinois nurses will be eligible to retire within the next few years," which the report said will negatively affect the balance of supply and demand. It found that 16% of RNs indicated an intention to retire within five years and 60% indicated that they'd be eligible for retirement within 15 years.


The authors of the report admitted that it's difficult to know whether the nursing workforce is or will be sufficient to meet the demand. However, Health Resources and Services Administration data for Illinois show a projected steady decrease in the supply of RNs through 2020, which would result in a 12% deficit. If demand increases by 28% as predicted, it will result in a shortfall of 31,900 RNs in the state.


Your Guide to Job Opportunities in the Midwest

Henry Ford Health System


Web site:


Mayo Clinic


200 First Street SW


Rochester, MN 55905


Contact: Human Resources Staffing Specialist


(800) 562-7984




Web site:


In December 2007 the Texas Department of State Health Services published Supply Trends Among Licensed Health Professions, Texas 1980-2007, which includes data on NPs and RNs, among other health professionals.


NPs. The report shows that in 1990 there were only 901 NPs in Texas, but by 2007 there were 4,858. In 2007, 96.4% of the RNs were women, and their median age was 48 years. The median age of the male RNs was 44.


According to the report, Texas lags behind the country in terms of the number of NPs per person. But the proportions of both "have been increasing steadily over the last decade." Counties with the highest numbers of NPs per person tended to be in the northern parts of the state; metropolitan counties had higher proportions than in nonmetropolitan counties. In 2007, 60 counties, primarily located in the Panhandle, West Texas, and South Texas, had no NPs. "While the counties with the largest increases [horizontal ellipsis] were scattered across the state, the greatest concentrations of counties with a 100% increase or greater [horizontal ellipsis] were in the East and Northeast Texas areas," said the report.


RNs. The report shows that in 1986 there were 66,242 RNs in Texas. That number had ballooned to 155,858 by 2007. More than 90% were female, and their median age was 47 years. The median age of the male nurses was 44.


Although there are more RNs in Texas than any other kind of health professional, the state lags behind the country as a whole in terms of the proportion of RNs to the total population. "The highest concentrations of RNs were in Central and East Texas," according to the report. "Metropolitan counties have consistently had [much higher concentrations] of nurses than the nonmetropolitan counties; however, the [proportions in] both geographic areas have been static since 2002." Of special interest are the "border counties," those Texas counties along the border with Mexico, where the proportions are much lower than in the rest of Texas but show increases comparable to those elsewhere in the state.


Your Guide to Job Opportunities in Texas

Children's Medical Center Dallas


1935 Motor Street


Dallas, TX 75235


Contact: Human Resources


(888) 848-2990


Web site:


Harris County Hospital District


2525 Holly Hall, Ste. 100


Houston, TX 77054


Contact: Human Resources/Employment and Recruitment Division


(713) 566-6408 or (800) 996-4243 (HCHD)


Web site:


Memorial Hermann


Houston, TX 77074


Contact: Human Resources


Toll-free: (866) 441-4567




Web site:


RHD Memorial Medical Center


7 Medical Parkway


Dallas, TX 75234


Contact: Lori Faries, Director of Recruitment, Retention and Recognition


(972) 888-7296




Web site:


St. David's HealthCare


Austin, TX 78757


(512) 544-0100


Web site:


St. Joseph Health System


Human Resources 2801 E. 29th Street, Suite 113 Bryan, TX 77802


Toll-free: (888) 881-0142


Fax: (979) 774-0775


Web site:


Tenet Healthcare System


Web site:


The University of Texas Medical Branch


301 University Blvd.


Galveston, TX 77555-0512


Contact: Nurse Recruitment


(409) 747-4717 or (877) 886-2499


Web site: