January 20, 2023

2022 Nursing Workforce Report indicates most are currently employed within the field

Missouri intends to continue increasing nursing capacity and pilot new education programs

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance today announced the release of the 2022 Nursing Workforce Report. The report shows the majority of nurses licensed in Missouri are actively employed full-time in their field or in a position that requires a nursing license. 

Very few nurses report that they are unemployed and looking for work as a nurse, indicating there is a limited supply of nurses within the state available to meet the current need for nursing services. Missouri also has a high percentage of nurses that are at or near retirement age.

“This report provides valuable information on the supply of nurses which is critical to nursing workforce planning and keeping patients safe,” said Lori Scheidt, Executive Director of the Missouri State Board of Nursing. “Understanding the dynamics of the nursing profession helps target solutions to expand Missouri’s nursing workforce.” 

The report includes workforce data on more than 96 percent of the nurses in Missouri, and is prepared on an annual basis by the University of Missouri Center for Health Policy and the Missouri State Board of Nursing and provides essential insights into the current state of the nursing workforce. 

Innovative nursing education models continue to emerge in Missouri. The Missouri State Board of Nursing has awarded more than $11 million in grants for nursing education programs throughout the state to increase capacity and pilot new education programs since 2011.  

Through grant funding awarded by the Board in 2019, Crowder College in Neosho and Freeman Hospital in Joplin were among the first to implement “Earn While You Learn” nursing programs in Missouri. This opportunity allows senior-level nursing students to be hired as employees and earn a wage while meeting clinical objectives.

In September 2022, nearly $3 million in grant funding was awarded to 11 nursing programs through a special appropriation approved by Governor Mike Parson. Three of the programs were awarded grants to begin implementing licensed practical nurse (LPN) programs in high school.

Scheidt says, “Having sufficient nurses plays a critical role in patient safety. A one-size-fits-all approach to addressing the nursing shortage is not effective. As the nursing shortage differs by geographic location, a variety of solutions are required. We invite stakeholders to use this report to focus their nursing workforce strategies.”

The Missouri State Board of Nursing is overseen by the Division of Professional Registration, which is a part of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. The division provides administrative support to 41 professional licensing boards and commissions responsible for licensing and regulating the activities of more than 525,000 Missourians.