December 31, 2012 - The American Nurses Association (ANA) encourages all nurses to look for and respond to a national survey of nurses early in 2013.
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and the Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers will conduct a national survey of registered nurses (RNs) beginning in January 2013. According to NCSBN, the survey will be conducted via a mailing through the U.S. Postal Service and via the web. It should reach potential respondents between Jan. 7 and Jan. 14.
All RNs in the U.S. with active RN licenses are eligible candidates for survey participation. A random sample of this population will be chosen to participate. Nurses who receive the survey are strongly encouraged to provide information such as basic demographic and professional data (e.g., age, year licensed, etc.) even if they are now employed in another profession or are retired. All responses will be kept confidential, and data will only be reported in the aggregate.
According to the ANA, the results of this survey are especially valuable in light of several factors. One is that no national source of current, complete, and consistent information for nursing workforce data exists, and this survey has the potential to fill that void. Also, the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will insure more than 30 million U.S. residents who will seek health care in the years ahead. Additionally, the aging U.S. population means there will be an increased demand for nursing services in the coming years. It is possible that the predicted shortfall of qualified nurses to care for this population will occur and will have a major impact on health care delivery in the future.
An adequate supply of RNs in the workforce is one of the essential components of a safe and effective health care system. Information from RNs selected to respond to this survey have a unique chance to contribute to this invaluable study, the results of which can be used to predict possible shortages and assist in the allocation of resources, program development decisions, and recruitment efforts in both the health care system and education sectors.