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Work of PA Center for Health Careers Eases Pennsylvania's Nursing Shortage
Date:2/11/2009

New Forecasts Show Shortage of Registered Nurses Down from 2005 Projections

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The shortage of registered nurses in Pennsylvania is shrinking, in part, because of the efforts of the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers, Department of Labor & Industry acting Secretary Sandi Vito announced today.

The information is included in updates to the 2005 reports "The Registered Nurse Workforce in Pennsylvania" and "The Licensed Practical Nurse Workforce in Pennsylvania," released today and available online at www.paworkforce.state.pa.us.

"I am pleased to see that our investments and efforts to address the need for nurses in Pennsylvania have reduced the shortage originally estimated in 2005," Vito said. "By helping academic institutions hire faculty and add classes, the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers is helping to increase the number of skilled, qualified nurses in Pennsylvania."

According to the latest forecasts, the shortage of registered nurses, or RNs, projected for 2010 is between 8,000 and 14,400 of an estimated statewide demand for 146,000 RNs -- between 400 and 1,700 fewer than the shortage reported in the original 2005 report.

"The report's estimates also show the need for Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPNs, will nearly double -- due to Pennsylvania's aging population -- leading to an estimated shortage of between 7,100 and 8,400 in 2010.

"Our efforts have been positive and successful; however, the aging of residents makes it very clear that there is more work to be done," Vito said. "Having determined the commonwealth's nursing needs through 2010 and beyond, we must have the proper resources to continue our investments in programs that will close education and employment gaps, and ensure every Pennsylvanian has access to the high-quality care they need and deserve."

The forecasting model used to provide the updated information is a cooperative effort by the Center for Workforce Information & Analysis and the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers. Data was collected by the Department of Labor & Industry on employment and occupational trends; the Department of Health's State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) Survey on registered nurses and licensed practical nurse characteristics; the Board of Nursing on graduation rates, licensure examination pass rates and the career plans of nurses; as well as data collected from six regional round table discussions with health care industry professionals from around the state.

Additional information about the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers, as well as reports and data about Pennsylvania's need for registered and licensed practical nurses, is available online at www.paworkforce.state.pa.us.

    CONTACT:
    Christopher S. Manlove
    (717) 787-7530


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry
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