The article below was from 2009, but it's worth the read.
Comparing the Output of Nurses with Estimated Demand
Minnesota Public Radio-run blog on the state's economy. Paul Tosto, the article's author, posed a very pertinent question, not just for Minnesota but for every other state too: What's the right number of nurses?
At the current rate, the market is producing more nursing grads than the system needs.
[Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system] data show "the total supply of new nurse graduates at the professional-level (RN) from both public and private institutions has increased over the past nine years. In 2008 it reached 2,800."
The state Department of Employment and Economic Development estimates about 2,340 openings for registered nurses
each year between 2006 -2016.
Another group, Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., projects a need for about 2,577 nurses a year through 2019, according to MnSCU.
Between the two estimates, Minnesota schools
are producing 9 to 19 percent more nurses than the state's projected to need.