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News Releases

First Quarter 2022

Feb. 28, 2022

Richmond Fed Looks at the Rural Nursing Shortage

Nearly all rural hospitals in a recent survey reported that they are having trouble filling nursing positions—and nearly half said they had been forced to turn away patients due to a lack of nurses. The latest issue of the Richmond Fed’s Econ Focus magazine, a special issue on the economic challenges of rural and small-town America, looks at the forces behind this shortage and how the health care community is trying to address it.

Also in this issue:

  • Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin on how small towns succeed. Based on his visits to more than 70 rural and small-town communities in the Fifth District, President Barkin describes the strategies of communities that are making it work—finding paths to economic success.
  • Entrepreneurship: a tool for rural development. Can local entrepreneurship move the needle on economic growth in rural communities? There’s evidence that it can. But rural entrepreneurs face significant hurdles when it comes to getting their businesses off the ground, including headwinds in raising capital.
  • Housing for the rural workforce. Although people often associate high housing costs with urban areas, many low- and middle-income households in rural areas also struggle with housing expense. Policymakers and nonprofits have used a variety of means to attempt to help.
  • Regulators revisit the Community Reinvestment Act. Federal banking agencies, including the Fed, are considering changes to the way they implement the Community Reinvestment Act, or CRA. The law was enacted in 1977 to encourage banks to meet the credit needs of low- and moderate-income communities. Consumer advocates have called for an expansion of CRA authority to cover nonbank mortgage companies. Many bankers, on the other hand, have advocated a streamlining of the CRA process, which they argue is ineffective and costly.
  • Interview. Yale’s Pinelopi Goldberg, former chief economist of the World Bank, on developing countries, measuring economies by satellite, and the learning crisis in K-12 education.
  • More. Coverage of other economic issues affecting the Fifth Federal Reserve District and the nation.

For a free print subscription to Econ Focus, the economics magazine of the Richmond Fed, or for copies, sign up or call (800) 322-0565. Sign up for a free email subscription. The articles also are available online.


As part of our nation’s central bank, the Richmond Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks working together with the Board of Governors to support a healthy economy and deliver on our mission to foster economic stability and strength. We connect with community and business leaders across the Fifth Federal Reserve District — including the Carolinas, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and most of West Virginia — to monitor economic conditions, address issues facing our communities, and share this information with monetary and financial policymakers. We also work with banks to ensure they are operating safely and soundly, supply financial institutions with currency that’s fit for distribution, and provide a safe and efficient way to transfer funds through our nation’s payments system.

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Jim Strader (804) 697-8956 (804) 332-0207 (mobile)