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May 20, 2015

State of Illinois

IL Nursing Survey Reveals Approaching RN Shortage


SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois may soon face a shortage of Registered Nurses, across all specialties, as an aging workforce readies to retire, according to a survey conducted by The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) – Illinois Center for Nursing.  The 2014 Illinois Registered Nurse (RN) Workforce Survey also finds that despite the increasing diversity of our state, the cultural and gender diversity of our future RN workforce is in decline. 

“As more baby boomers approach retirement, it is essential that our healthcare industry has the ability to quantify the forthcoming need for additional health care professionals and other health care services,” said Bryan Schneider, Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Secretary.  “The RN Workforce Survey is certainly a tool that will assist and guide workforce planners as they seek to determine what types of RN will be in greatest demand, as well as the types of specialties and skills required of future models of care.”

Of the respondents polled, one-third of all RNs (ages 55 to 65 years or older) intend to retire within the next five years, leaving voids in specialties such as psychiatric, school, home health and community health nursing.  Of concern, these specialties currently have significantly fewer RNs (ages 25-35 years old) in the PhD education pipeline to replace the retiring RNs. Additionally, the data collected indicates a decrease in cultural diversity of the RN workforce in the younger cohorts, which coincides with the decreased number of graduates of associate degree programs (ages 25 and under).  Gender diversity is also on the decline, as only 7% of those (25 years and younger) self reported as being male. 

Conducted during the 2014 Illinois RN licensure renewal period, the workforce survey was structured to capture data on the demographics, education, state distribution, and practice foci of RNs in Illinois.  Over 90% of individual RNs completed licensure renewal via the on-line platform.  The voluntary survey was completed by 52,902 RNs, representing 31% of the total RN population in Illinois.

“Determining the demographics of our current RN workforce, the relative numbers of RNs in each age group, as well as cultural diversity and educational preparation is vital to long-term planning,” said Maureen Shekleton, PhD, RN, Illinois Center for Nursing Advisory Board Chairperson.  “With this data, we can begin to address questions, such as what is the current RN supply and will it be adequate to meet the health care needs of Illinois citizens.”

The 2014 Illinois Registered Nurse (RN) Workforce survey was completed under the leadership of the Illinois Center for Nursing’s Advisory Board of Directors.  The survey was the first Illinois Registered Nurse (RN) workforce study offered with individual on-line licensure renewal.

For the complete report, please visit:


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