How many nurses are there? And other facts.
Nearly 13% of US nurses (404,000) and 2.5% (6,300) of Canadian RNs and have earned masters or doctoral degrees. In the U.S. 28,000 hold doctoral degrees. There are 251,000 U.S. advanced practice nurses--140,000 nurse practitioners and 59,000 clinical nurse specialists (CNS). But only 1 in 6 CNSs are practicing as such due to the denursification of health care over the past decade and a half. The US has 35,000 nurse anesthetists and 18,500 nurse midwives. These four specialty groups are generally masters prepared or higher. Nurses employed in nursing make up 0.76% and 0.74% of the population in the US and Canada respectively.
A Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that the average annual earnings of US RNs employed full-time in 2008 was $65,130. But a 2009 Compensation Data Healthcare study found that the average RN salary was lower, at $61,300 per year.
Sometimes people ask if there are more physicians than nurses. The American Medical Association reports that there are 920,000 physicians in the US. This is a ratio of 10 nurses to 3 physicians.
In both the US and Canada, 5-6% of nurses are men. Of nurses employed in nursing, 6% and 5.6% are male in the US and Canada respectively.
The average age of a nurse in the US was 47.0 in 2008. In Canada the average nurse's age was 44.7 in 2005. Canadian data (pdf).
Nurses are about 100 times more likely to attend graduate nursing school than medical school. see the data...
n 2008, the U.S. was short 116,000 nurses. That is predicted to worsen to 500,000 by 2025. The U.S. will need to educate about 1.0 million new nurses by 2016--which is 40% the size of today's nursing workforce. (See U.S. Department of Labor "Occupational employment projections to 2016" (pdf).) The U.S. Department of Labor has predicted that the number of nurses needed in the workforce will grow by 587,000 to 3.1 million nurses by 2016--a 23% increase in the number of nurses.
See more information on the nursing shortage:
Also see Occupational Outlook Information.
The 2008-2018 projections are scheduled to be published in the November 2009 Monthly Labor Review.answer...
US Nurses: 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (the 2008 sample survey results are expected some time in 2009).
Canadian Nurses: Highlights from the Regulated Nursing Workforce in Canada, 2005
Please contact us to add data about nurses from other countries.
Last updated August 22, 2009
The URL for this page is www.truthaboutnursing.org/faq/rn_facts.html