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US States with the Most Nurses Shortages and How to Fill Them


Yet another medical crisis is expected to hit the United States very soon. The United States is facing an acute shortage of nurses and inaction is probably going to jeopardize the services of healthcare institutions across the country in the distant future.

As of 2023, the United States employs over 5.3 million healthcare professionals serving as nurses.

Here is a breakdown of the number of nurses by employment category

Type of nurse employment

Total number
Registered Nurse (RN)


Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Licensed Practical/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN)


Nurse Educator (NE)


Nurse Midwife (CNM)

Nurse Practitioner (NP)


Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Total Number of Nurses


Of these numbers, the total number of registered nurses can be further categorized by State. The table below illustrates the projected demand and supply in the year 2030. It also illustrates the surplus or deficit number of registered nurses by 2030 and the States that are likely to face a surplus or shortage.


Projected demand by 2030 Projected supply by 2030 Difference in numbers



387,900 343,400 44,500 Deficit
Massachusetts 89,300 91,300 2000



23,800 18,400 5,400 Deficit
New York 195,200 213,400 18,200


New Jersey

102,200 90,800 11,400 Deficit
Maryland 73,900 86,000 12,100



98,700 99,900 1,200 Deficit
Colorado 63,200 72,500 9,300


New Mexico

21,600 31,300 9,700 Surplus
Georgia 101,000 98,800 2,200



12,800 14,000 1,200 Deficit
Texas 269,300 253,400 15,900


New Hampshire

20,200 21,200 1,300 Deficit
Virginia 86,500 109,200 22,700



6,800 9,300 2,500 Deficit
Florida 240,000 293,700 53,700



132,800 181,900 49,100 Surplus
Montana 12,100 12,300 200



53,700 64,200 10,500 Surplus
North Carolina 118,600 135,100 16,500



49,700 52,000 2,300 Deficit
Indiana 75,300 89,300 14,000


North Dakota

9,200 9,700 700 Deficit
South Carolina 62,500 52,100 10,400



82,200 90,600 8,400 Surplus
Missouri 73,200 89,900 16,700



35,300 45,400 10,100 Surplus
Arkansas 32,300 42,100 9,800


South Dakota

13,600 11,700 1,900


From the above illustrated table, we can understand that the States of California, Texas, New Jersey and South Carolina are likely to face a severe deficit of registered nurses. On the other hand, the States of Florida, New York, Missouri and North Carolina are expected to see a surplus of registered nurses by 2030 – this will likely lead to a drop in the average pay scale in states with a surplus. Similarly, states with a deficit are likely to witness an upward trajectory in terms of pay.

Here is a table to better illustrate the current average pay in 50 US States


Average pay per hour

Average pay per year


$64.10 $133,340
Hawaii $54.43



$51.26 $106,610
Massachusetts $50.07



$49.67 $103,310
Washington $48.88


New York

$48.14 $100,130
District of Columbia $47.23


New Jersey

$46.48 $96,670
Nevada $46.30



$45.32 $94,260
Minnesota $42.72


Rhode Island

$42.43 $88,250
Maryland $42.30



$41.70 $86,740
Colorado $41.63


New Mexico

$41.15 $85,580
Georgia $40.95



$40.88 $85,020
Texas $40.54


New Hampshire

$40.11 $83,420
Illinois $39.53



$39.36 $81,860
Wyoming $38.95



$38.94 $81,000
Michigan $38.78



$38.76 $80,630
Vermont $38.46



$38.42 $79,910
Idaho $37.79



$37.72 $78,450
Montana $37.67



$37.32 $77,620
Maine $37.22


North Carolina

$37.22 $77,410
Oklahoma $36.98



$36.73 $76,400
Louisiana $36.50



$36.34 $75,580
North Dakota $36.06


South Carolina

$35.74 $74,330
Nebraska $35.34



$34.85 $72,480
West Virginia $34.73



$34.61 $71,990
Missouri $34.55



$33.35 $69,370
Mississippi $32.66



$32.17 $66,910
Arkansas $31.98


South Dakota



Suggested Reading: 2023 Salary Guide for US Nurse Practitioners

What can the States do to reduce the nurse shortage?

Evidently, it’s critical to reduce the nursing shortage. But one can understand how complicated the efforts can be. So, keeping past experiences and futuristic technology in mind, experts in healthcare recruitment suggest the following measures.

Optimize nurse staffing agencies

Medical staffing agencies have increasingly become the need of the hour. In order to resolve healthcare staffing shortages, medical staffing agencies assist and aid hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare organizations in medical recruitment. Through extensive research and cutting-edge technology driven recruitment solutions, medical staffing agencies provide healthcare institutions with the right talent to fill their vacant positions. These agencies provide complete end-to-end staffing solutions; from sourcing, screening, to filtering candidates, in order to help you find the best talent for your healthcare needs. They also offer various additional services, such as credentialing, background checks, and onboarding, to ensure their candidates meet the necessary qualifications and are ready to work.

Medical Staffing Solutions

Healthcare staffing agencies provide complete, end-to-end solutions for your healthcare staffing shortages. Through deep research and cutting-edge technology-driven recruitment solutions, medical staffing agencies have become the backbone for all hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare organizations when it comes to staffing shortages.

Using AI-based recruitment solutions

By using AI-based recruitment solutions, recruiters can significantly cut down the time taken to hire medical professionals. AI-based solutions can easily post information about job availability, shortlist and categorize applications, conduct skill assessments and even schedule interviews. These solutions not only save time, they also eliminate recruiter bias. The advanced AI in Arya is revolutionizing the healthcare recruiting industry by using 300+ parameters and 7 multi-dimensional data points to score and rank talent for compatibility. Arya simultaneously helps source candidates from multiple channels in under 5 minutes, reducing candidate review and shortlisting time by 50%. Request a Demo to understand how Arya can help your organization streamline its healthcare staffing challenges in time to avoid a nursing shortage crisis.

Using AI-based medical solutions

Artificial Intelligence software can be used to help detect early signs of genetic conditions and terminal illnesses like cancer; it can help in managing medical databases; it can act as a virtual health assistant and even be used for complicated surgical procedures as assistant surgical bots. By using AI-based medical solutions, healthcare institutions can reduce the burden on nurses and medical professionals by at least 20%.

Offer State funded training and exchange programs

States with a deficit can collaborate with those States having a surplus of nurses and initiate training-based exchange programs – this will allow nurses from affiliated hospitals to work at hospitals in other States – even if temporarily and considerably reduce the burden on overworked nursing staff.

Wrapping it Up

Healthcare workers have always been overworked, the Covid19 pandemic just made things worse. Despite its current challenges, the healthcare industry remains to be one of the fastest-growing sectors all over the globe. That’s why healthcare recruiting experts urgently need to realign their hiring strategies in order to overcome a potential shortage. But it shouldn’t stop at redesigning hiring strategies, it also needs to expand into training, nurturing and retaining healthcare providers.


  • https://www.nursingprocess.org/how-many-nurses-are-there-in-the-us.html

Sreevally Pasumarthy


Sree Pasumarthy's background in HR, marketing, and psychology gives her an authoritative edge in understanding the needs of the recruitment space. This knowledge powers her creation of AI-based HR Technology solutions. Her focus on streamlining recruitment processes, improving candidate experiences, and understanding the psychology behind hiring decisions makes her a trusted resource for organizations seeking to elevate their recruitment content.

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