Even though nursing is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the country, demand continues to outpace supply. Open positions outnumber qualified applicants by some 67%, according to new data released by job posting website Indeed.com.
The numbers can be even worse at the state level. Indeed compared the rate of nursing postings to the rate of qualified applicants. There was not a single state where the rate of interest outpaced the rate of openings. New Mexico had the worst ratio of any state in the country — there, the need for nurses is six times greater than the rate of qualified candidates looking for a position. North Dakota, Alaska, Nevada, and Oklahoma rounded out the five most out-of-whack states.
“The continuous demand for nurses has grown so quickly that the pipeline of talent struggles to keep up.” wrote Kristen Gehring, a public relations specialist for the company.
Of course, there’s a bright side for the nurses themselves: Salaries are going up as employers try to stand out in a crowded labor market.
“Many cities are seeing a nursing shortage that is approaching crisis level. In California, in particular, extreme nursing shortages in mid-size cities like Fresno, Bakersfield, Modesto, and Sacramento have led to some of the highest living-cost-adjusted wages for nurses in the country,” said senior vice president Paul d’Arcy.
Eleven of the top 25 cities for nurse pay were in California. Fresno had the highest average salary offer, after being adjusted for cost-of-living, at $81,344. The state is projected to add 4 million residents 65 and older by 2030, which could exacerbate the phenomenon.