Analysis of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Workforce in the United States

A shortage of RNs is a problem that has reached crisis levels in the United States and many other countries. The inadequate supply of RNs translates into limited access for individuals who need health care. The U.S. psychiatric-mental health RN (PMH RN) workforce is virtually unstudied. The purposes of this article are to present a nationally representative demographic, education, and employment profile of PMH RNs, analyze issues associated with the supply of PMH RNs, and discuss options for building the PMH RN workforce.