Idaho institutions produce and license just enough nurses for a healthy labor
market across the state as a whole, significant shortages in many surrounding
states are attracting Idaho graduates, negatively impacting the supply in
certain regions, according to a report issued this
week by the Idaho Department of Labor.
Southwestern Idaho in particular faces a challenge to produce
enough nurses to keep up with health care workforce demands as the population ages
and continues to grow considerably faster than the state and national averages.
Nursing Overview 2017: An Interim Report examines workforce supply and
demand for licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs) and
advance practice nurses (APRNs) in the state to help determine where shortages
or surpluses may occur. Education capacity, wages and faculty issues are also reviewed.
Nursing continues to be a “hot job” in Idaho, with RNs ranking 11th
according to Idaho Labor’s 2014-2024
long-term occupations projections, dropping from second in the 2012-2022
projections. The ranking is based on fastest growing, most abundant and highest
For the 2015-2016 academic year, the 11 Idaho institutions
offering nursing degrees admitted 1,238 students, down from 1,331 admissions to
12 institutions for the 2013-2014 academic year as reported in the 2015 Idaho
Wages in Idaho for LPNs and RNs ranked fifth of the surrounding
states of Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. Nurse
practitioner wages in Idaho were the lowest of the seven states.
Idaho continues to have unfilled faculty positions, reporting 18
unfilled among all the nursing programs. Retirees and faculty returning to a
practice setting will likely be difficult to replace. Faculty who educate
practicing and future RNs must have a master’s degree to teach.
Because of a change in the self-reporting
method for RNs in 2015 and 2016, some data was not collected, resulting in the
interim report, which provides a nursing workforce status as a bridge between
the more comprehensive 2015 Idaho Nursing Overview and the next comprehensive
report in 2018 which will reflect the complete data.
This report was produced in
collaboration with the Idaho Board of Nursing, Idaho Alliance of Leaders in
Nursing, Boise State University, Brigham Young University – Idaho, Carrington
College, College of Southern Idaho, College of Western Idaho, Eastern Idaho
Technical College, Idaho State University, College of Technology and School of
Nursing, ITT Technical, Lewis-Clark State College, North Idaho College and
Northwest Nazarene University.
Find the full report at labor.idaho.gov/publications/NursingOverview2017.