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Results from WI RN Survey Shows Future Demand

By Portage County Business Council

On the heels of Governor Doyle’s announcement of over $11 million in WI health care workforce funding, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Devleopment and Wisconsin Center for Nursing recently announced the results from the state’s Registered Nurses Survey.

According to DWD Secretary Robera Gassman there will be an increase need for new health care workers, and nurses are in the greatest demand of all occupations in the state. Survey results show nurses are significantly older than the general labor force, so addressing future labor shortages will be key. Over 8,000 healthcare workers per year will be needed through 2018. Currently the state licenses about 77,500 RNs.

Results include:

  • Wisconsin registered nurses are predominantly female, well-educated and older than the workforce as a whole.
  • The median age of registered nurses is 45-49 years old, while the median age of the state’s workforce is 40-44 years old. Additionally, 46 percent are 50 years of age or older.
  • Less than 50 percent of registered nurses work in hospitals; other workplace settings include ambulatory care, nursing homes and extended care, public health, and academic education.

More survey information can be found at

The Wisconsin Center for Nursing will be analyzing all the survey data and developing a statewide strategic plan to address nursing workforce needs. A formal report will be issued to the WI Legislature in September 2011.