Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1991


The purpose of this study was to compare Registered Nurse (RN) current and future demand between Tennessee rural and urban licensed hospitals and nursing homes. Comparisons of Registered Nurse demand by principal duty or position and by educational level were also undertaken. The educational level of RNs was examined using the proportion of RNs at each of five educational levels: diploma, associate, baccalaureate, master's, and doctorate. The variables examined were 1988 and 1989 vacancy rates and proportion of budgeted positions, change in vacancy rates and proportions from 1988 to 1989, projected changes in positions and proportions from 1988 to 1992 and to 1995. Nurse administrators from one hundred fifty four hospitals (63% response rate) and two hundred twelve nursing homes (72% response rate) were surveyed for responses about current and future RN demand. This study is a secondary analysis of data that were collected as a part of a larger research project conducted by the Tennessee Board of Regents Task Force on Nurse Supply and Demand. The findings were that rural hospitals had significantly higher vacancy rates for total nurse positions in 1988 and general duty positions in 1989. Urban hospital administrators reported higher vacancy rates for RN positions at the diploma level and projected significantly greater changes in clinical specialist and master's level positions for 1992 and 1995. Rural hospitals had a higher proportion of associate degree nurses in 1989, and urban hospitals had a higher percentage of master's prepared RNs for 1988 and 1989. Urban hospitals projected a greater change in the proportion of RNs at the doctoral level for 1995. Rural nursing homes projected higher numbers of associate degree nurses for 1992 and 1995. The major conclusion was that the nursing shortage in Tennessee hospitals was more severe than that reported on the national level and greater in rural hospitals. The shortage in Tennessee nursing homes was reported to be much less acute than the national shortage, and the critical shortages were limited to a few facilities, both rural and urban.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Included in

Nursing Commons