Report Shows Shrinking Nursing Shortage

Date: 03/01/2022

News from the Maine Hospital Association and the Maine Nursing Coalition

Maine Nursing Action Coalition & Maine Hospital Association report shows shrinking nursing shortage
A new report commissioned by the Maine’s Nursing Action Coalition (MeNAC) and the Maine Hospital Association (MHA) shows that Maine continues to make positive progress to improve the state’s shortage of nurses. 
In 2021, Maine had a shortage of 2,250 registered nurses (RNs). The adjusted forecast for the year 2025 predicts a shortage of 1,450 RNs, according to the report, conducted by the Cypress Research Group. The improved projected shortage of RNs was mostly driven by an annual increase in the number of early career and newly educated nurses. The report shows that between 2015 and 2021 there has been a dramatic increase in the number of working RNs who are younger than age 35, and 1,000 newly licensed younger RNs have been added to Maine’s workforce. 
Nurses in Maine are also at full employment with only 1.9% of nurses unemployed. The Cypress report notes that the number of nurses between the ages of 45 to 64 decreased in size as was originally projected. 
All of this is in contrast to an earlier report conducted in 2015. In 2015, MeNAC announced that Maine’s nursing workforce shortage was projected to be 3,200 RNs by 2025. Nursing leaders, nursing education programs, and hospitals worked together to support nursing programs to expand student capacity. In October of 2018, this coalition announced that Maine’s nursing education programs had begun to increase the number of nursing graduates, reducing the projected shortage to 2,700 RNs by 2025.
While Maine is still projected to have a shortage of RNs by 2025, reducing the projected shortage from 3,200 to 1,450 represents a tremendous partnership between nursing leaders both in practice and academia to maximize nursing student capacity in all of Maine’s nursing education programs, said, Lisa Harvey-McPherson, RN, a member of MeNAC, and Steven Michaud, president of MHA. 
Nursing Action Coalitions began through a partnership between AARP, the AARP Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. These coalitions were formed in every state and Washington, D.C. to carry out the work of the Campaign for the Future of Nursing at the local, regional and state levels. In 2010, the Institute of Medicine released a report titled: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, with the purpose of making recommendations for an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing. One of the recommendations focused on improving the effectiveness of nursing workforce, planning, and policy making with better data collection. MeNAC has focused its work on Maine’s nursing workforce data.
MeNAC and MHA want to thank Patricia Cirillo, president of the Cypress Research Group for her work to update the nursing workforce forecast. 
The full report can be viewed at