Current trends in nursing show that the aging workforce is steadily but steadily improving inequality between two groups of nursing professionals: people of color and men. The 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey revealed that the average age of registered nurses surveyed was 52 years, an increase from 51 in 2017. The largest age group in the profession is the 65-year-old and older nurses. They made up 19% of the RN workforce for 2020. This was an increase of 14.6% and 4.4% respectively in 2017. Also, the survey revealed that 9.4% of registered nurses are men, up from 9.1%, 8%, and 6.6% respectively in 2017.

The following information was revealed in the report (2017 statistics in parentheses).

  • 80.6% White/Caucasian (down 80.8%).
  • 7.2% Asian (down 7.5%)
  • 6.7% Black/African American (up 6.2%)
  • 2.3% Other (down compared to 2.9%)
  • 2.1% Select more than one race (up from 1.7%)
  • 0.5% American Indians or Alaska Natives (up from.4%).
  • 0.4% Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders (down from.5%).
  • 0.2% Middle East/North African (0.2% was the first survey to include this category in 2020).

Additionally, 5.6% of RN respondents self-identified as Hispanic/Latino/Latina, up from 5.3% in 2017.

Although men make up 9.4% of registered nurses in the United States, the survey revealed that 13.6% of all nurses of color are male, with 34.3% of those who identify themselves as Native Hawaiians or Pacific Islanders.

Studies show that there is more diversity in advanced practice registered nurses, such as family nurse practitioners and family nurse practitioners. This is especially true for male nurse practitioners and Black nurse practitioners. The BLS reported in 2013 that 8.2% of registered nurses were male, and 5.8% were Black. These percentages had risen to 12.6% male and 7.7% black by 2021.

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