Conversation Around Workforce Focuses on Maldistribution

The Oregon Center for Nursing’s (OCN) recently released a new report on the nursing workforce, “Shortage or Maldistribution: Shifting the Conversation Around Oregon’s Nursing Workforce.” The report provides updated, detailed information on nursing professionals in Oregon, and looks at how those numbers have changed in recent years.

“For years, nursing communities across the nation have discussed an impending nursing shortage and discussed global strategies to address the crisis,” said Jana R. Bitton, OCN’s Executive Director. “Our recent report suggests Oregon needs to have a much more nuanced conversation that discusses the maldistribution of nurses, or shortages that are occurring in certain regions of the state or in specific work settings.”

There are more than 42,500 registered nurses, 3,750 advanced practice nurses and 4,300 licensed practical nurses estimated to be working in Oregon. The report discusses the increase in the number of professionals from other states seeking licensure in Oregon, the geographic distribution of the registered nurse workforce, and vacancy and turnover rates by employers.

“As we start looking at community or regional maldistribution of the nursing workforce, there are many implications,” Bitton said. “Local employers and educators need to look at their partnerships to see how community needs are being met. The presence or absence of other healthcare professionals and how their role intersects with nursing is also a big interest.”

OCN is a nonprofit organization created by nursing leaders in 2002. OCN facilitates research and collaboration for Oregon’s nursing workforce to support informed, well-prepared, diverse and exceptional nursing professionals. Recognized by the Oregon state legislature as a state advisory for nursing workforce issues, OCN fulfills its mission through nurse workforce research, building partnerships, and promoting nursing and healthcare.  For more information about OCN, please visit

Media Contact:
Jana R. Bitton, MPA
Executive Director