Montana Department of Labor & Industry Releases “Status of the Nursing Workforce in Montana” Report

  • — November 12 2021
Report summarizes results from the National Council State Board of Nursing 2020 Survey

HELENA –The Montana Department of Labor & Industry today released the “2020 Status of the Nursing Workforce in Montana” report. The detailed report is compiled by DLI’s team of economists and highlights parts of the National Council State Board of Nursing (NCSBN) Survey which is conducted every two years. The NCSBN is a national-level survey that is focused on providing an overview of the nursing workforce. In Montana, 2,161 RN licensees were mailed a survey, and 843 responded. Of the 1,629 Montana LPN/LVN licensees that were mailed a survey, 595 responded. This analysis focuses on the responses of those Montana licensee respondents. 

Some highlights from the survey include:

  • Multistate licensing can help overcome workforce shortages in nursing by allowing employers to hire from outside the state. 78% of Montana’s licensed RNs and 92% of Montana’s LPNs hold a multistate license.
  • Most actively licensed RNs in the state hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (60%). The Southwest and South Central regions, which include Bozeman, Helena, and Billings, have above average bachelor’s degree RNs compared to the rest of the state.
  • Of the RNs in Montana who began their career with an associate degree, an estimated 32% have since achieved a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vital role nurses play in the state’s healthcare system and economy. Ensuring the state’s workforce is healthy and safe is critical to continued economic growth. There are nearly 18,000 actively licensed RNs and 2,900 actively licensed LPNs providing critical care to Montanans around the state.

“We rely on our nurses and healthcare staff statewide to provide critical care to Montanans,” said Department of Labor & Industry Commissioner Laurie Esau. “This survey is crucial in understanding demographics, educational trends, and personal needs of nurses across the state. With this information we can continue to grow and build our healthcare sector to better serve Montanans.”

Earlier this month, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte launched an initiative to recruit health care workers to Montana.

To view the complete analysis, click here.

Contact Sam Loveridge: Public Information Officer, Department of Labor and Industry
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