Quick Facts


  1. The Affordable Care Act will increase health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans.
  2. Nurses represent the largest sector of all health professions, with more than 3 million registered nurses (RNs) in the United States.
  3. For 11 straight years nurses have ranked #1 as the most trusted profession.
  4. Only about 10 percent of physicians practice in rural America despite the fact that nearly one-fourth of the population lives in these areas.
  5. The United States has nearly 400,000 primary care providers. Physicians account for over 275,000 of these providers, nurse practitioners for over 80,000, and physician assistants for approximately 20,000. There are currently almost 154,000 nurse practitioners (NPs) practicing in the United States.
  6. The most commonly reported initial nursing education of RNs in the United States in 2008 was the associate degree in nursing (ADN), representing 45.4 percent of nurses.
  7. Approximately 50 percent of RNs hold a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) or higher, a figure that includes ADN-and diploma educated RNs who have gone on to obtain a BSN.
  8. Baccalaureate and graduate programs at U.S. nursing schools turned away more than 75,000 qualified applicants in 2011 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints.
  9. Racial and ethnic minorities make up approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population but nearly 15 percent of the RN workforce, and just under 10 percent of RNs are men.
  10. Nurses make up less than 3 percent of community health system boards, compared with approximately 20 percent who are physicians.




join the conversation


about progress in your state