Nursing Supply and Demand Projections

The Texas Center for Nursing Workforce Studies contracted with IHS Inc. to use the Health Workforce Simulation Model and the Healthcare Demand Microsimulation Model to develop supply and demand projections for nurses in Texas. The projections developed by these models apply state-level data sources as inputs when available to enhance the accuracy of the projections.

The HWSM uses a microsimulation approach that models the likely career choices of individual nurses in Texas to project what supply might look like annually through 2030. The HWSM starts with the current supply of nurses from Texas’ licensure files and models new nurses entering the workforce, nurses leaving the workforce, and workforce participation patterns as the demographics of the nursing workforce change over time. 

The HDMM models demand for health care services and providers and includes 3 major components 1.) characteristics of each person in a representative sample of current and future population, 2.) health care use patterns that relate to patient characteristics, and 3.) staffing patterns that translate to demand for services. In this model, demand is defined as “the level and mix of health care services (and providers) that are likely to be used based on population characteristics and economic considerations such as price of services and people’s ability and willingness to pay for services.” 

These projections are meant to be used as a planning tool for adequately preparing the future workforce to meet the needs of the Texas population. However, predicting future supply of and demand for nurses is a challenging quest. There are many factors that can influence either supply of or demand for nurses. It is important to keep in mind what the impact will be on demand for health care providers as more people gain health care coverage, as the way people use health care services evolves, as the way health care services are delivered transforms, and as disease prevalence and acuity changes. Likewise, there are a number of factors that can impact supply, such as ability to draw nurses to the workforce and train them in adequate numbers, and improvements or declines in the economic climate that may drive retirement patterns. There are also factors worth considering that extend beyond just numbers such as such ensuring diversity in the workforce in order to deliver culturally competent care and the geographical distribution of not just nurses but the right combination of nurses to meet demand for needed specializations and skillsets.

Last updated March 4, 2021