Key Findings:

 

  • Although total employment of registered nurses (RNs) working on a full-time basis leveled off in the 1st quarter of 2017, hospitals added roughly 26,000 RNs.
  • Employment of younger age RNs falls while the number of older RNs in the workforce increased noticeably
  • Hourly RN wages ticks up slightly during the first three months of 2017

 

 total fte 2017 Q1

Source: Authors’ analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey

 

During the first three months of 2017, the number of registered nurses (RNs) working as full-time equivalents (FTEs) in the United States stood at 3.3 million, essentially the same number of FTE RNs that where employed in the 4th quarter of 2016.  These data include Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs).

 

fte by setting Q1 2017

Source: Authors’ analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey

 

Analysis of employment data shows that employment in hospitals edged up by about 26,000 FTE RNs during the 1st quarter of 2017.  Meanwhile, non-hospital FTE RN employment growth continued to remain flat at around 1.3 million. 

 

fte by age q1 2017

Source: Authors’ analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey

 

FTE employment of RNs age 35 and under decreased for the second quarter in a roll, falling by over 50,000 FTEs in the first quarter of 2017. The number of FTE RNs age 35-49 leveled off at 1.2 million, while FTE RNs age 50 and over increased noticeably by about 60,000 during the first three months of 2017.

 

fte wages q1 2017

Source: Authors’ analysis of the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey

 

Although there are large fluctuations in hourly wage data due to limited sample sizes, data for the first quarter of 2017 show that the average hourly wage for FTE RNs increased by about $0.50 per hour, making this the the second quarter of hourly wage gains. 

 

First Quarter 2017 RN Quarterly Employment Data Brief

May 2, 2017

David Auerbach, PhD

Peter Buerhaus, PhD, RN, FAAN

Douglas Staiger, PhD

Lucy Skinner