California Has 25% Fewer RNs Per 100,000 Than U.S. Average, According To California Institute For Nursing & Health Care
OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 23, 2012 – California averages 644 nurses per 100,000 persons, compared to the U.S. national average of 859 nurses per 100,000, according to a study that graded 23 California regions on their nurse job to population ratio. More than half of these regions earned grades of “D” or “F” when compared to the national average. California earned an overall “C” grade, compared to the nation. An “A” would be a ratio of 1,257 or more RN jobs per 100,000, according to the analysis, which is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
The California Institute for Nursing and Health Care (CINHC) study found that California’s RN job ratio per capita increased by 22 RN jobs between 2004 and 2010, but its national ranking did not change as nurses were added to the workforce across the county.
“This study supports the need to maintain capacity in nursing schools as a high priority since California lags behind most states in RN utilization. The report card is invaluable for regional planning efforts,” said Deloras Jones, RN, MSN, executive director of CINHC.
The San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City area earned a C+, the state’s highest mark. Other grades:
C-: Chico/Paradise; Sacramento; San Diego/Carlsbad/San Marcos; San Luis Obispo/Paso Robles; Santa Ana/Anaheim/Irvine; Santa Rosa/Petaluma; Vallejo/Fairfield
D: Los Angeles/Long Beach; Modesto; Oakland/Fremont/Hayward; Riverside/San Bernardino; Salinas; San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara; Santa Barbara/Santa Maria/Goleta; Santa Cruz/Watsonville; Stockton; Visalia/Tulare/Porterville.
F: Bakersfield; Fresno; Merced; Oxnard/Thousand Oaks/Ventura.
Ratios ranged from a low of 195.5 RNs per capita in Merced to a high of 960 in San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City.
Only the Redding and San Francisco areas were close to or exceeded the national average, with 960 and 857.7 RN jobs per 100,000 respectively.
Regions correspond to metropolitan statistical areas (MSA’s). Counties within each MSA are listed in the full report at www.chcf.org. Data for this study is from 2010. (The study was based on original work done in 2006 in cooperation with the VA Long Beach Healthcare System and UC Irvine School of Medicine.)
CINHC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that transforms the capacity of nurses to meet the evolving health needs of Californians by partnering with nurse leaders, educators, providers, payers, policy leaders, and consumers. For more information, www.cinhc.org