Experts agree that creating effective policy to ease the nursing shortage requires studying nursing workforce supply and demand. This includes determining the actual number of nurses working in the United States. Since nursing, unlike medicine, is regulated at the state level and managed at the local level, state-level nursing workforce data is indispensable.
About 30 states have nursing workforce centers, and 25 ofthose centers have operational data collection and analysis programs. Yet fully developed data initiatives comprise a small subset of all data programs, and there is as yet no comprehensive national data infrastructure. This second issue of Charting Nursing’s Future explores model nursing workforce center data programs and shares the recommendations of experts about how federal and state governments can advance the development of these much-needed centers.