SPRINGFIELD, IL – A shortage of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) may be on the horizon in Illinois, according to a recent study conducted by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) – Illinois Center for Nursing. The voluntary 2015 LPN Workforce Survey also finds that LPNs, in comparison to RNs, are a more racially diverse group, clustered in the urban areas of Illinois. The survey was completed by nearly 22% of the total LPN population in Illinois.
“Similar to last year’s RN survey findings, the LPN workforce in Illinois appears to be aging with an insufficient population of younger nurses in the replacement pipeline,” said Bryan A. Schneider, IDFPR Secretary. “While not yet at crisis level, this survey should serve as a clarion call to our nursing workforce planners that a potential shortage is on the horizon. This is particularly important as LPNs play a key role in our nursing homes, extended care facilities and home care settings.”
Of the respondents polled, one-third of all LPNs (ages 55 to 65 years or older) intend to retire within the next five years. LPNs, in comparison RNs, are a racially diverse group with 25% of respondents indicating African American heritage, while those of Hispanic/Latina heritage comprise the highest percentage of the younger age groups at 8%. Illinois LPNs are most heavily centered in urban areas, with Cook County accounting for 26.4% of the population.
“Certainly a looming issue for policy makers is the growing use of home and community-based services by the US elderly population,” said Maureen Shekleton, PhD, RN, Illinois Center for Nursing Advisory Board Chairperson. “When you account for the data as a whole – workplace setting, age and intent to retire; clear implications exist for Illinois workforce planning groups as they strive to balance future demand with workforce capacities.”
Conducted during the 2015 Illinois LPN licensure renewal period, the workforce survey was structured to capture data on the demographics, education, workplace settings and state distribution of LPNs in Illinois. Over 85% of individual LPNs completed licensure renewal via IDFPR’s online platform. The survey was completed by 6,613 LPNs.
For the complete report, please visit: http://nursing.illinois.gov/ResearchData.asp