The California Labor and Workforce
Development Agency has released a report finding
that California currently has 647 registered
nurses for every 100,000 people, compared with a
national average of 825 RNs per 100,000 people,
the Sacramento Bee
also found that:
- 9,580 RNs graduated last year, a 55%
increase since 2005; and
- More than 23,500 students currently are
in California nursing programs, a 69%
increase over the past four years.
Of California's 131 RN programs, 23 opened
during the past four years.
Although urban hospitals in recent years have
increased their nursing staff, many rural areas
still face a critical shortage of RNs, Anette
Smith-Dohring, work force development manager
for Sutter Health's Sacramento Sierra region,
The report was conducted on behalf of the
California Nurse Education Initiative, a
five-year, $90 million program to increase the
number of nurses in California.
When California established the initiative in
2005, the state faced a shortage of about 10,000
nurses annually, officials said.
California officials say the state will need
to train more than 206,000 additional health
care workers by 2014 to meet increased demand
stemming from population growth.
In May, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
introduced a bill that would create a federal
work force initiative to address the nursing
shortage. The legislation would establish
required nurse-to-patient ratios, similar to
California's 1999 mandate, and provide stipends
to nursing students working at clinics or other
health centers (Calvan, Sacramento Bee,