Good news for aging baby boomers: Fears of a nursing shortage may be turning around. Between 1979 and 1991, the number of young nurses declined nearly 50%. It continued to drop for another decade, hitting a low of 102,000 in 2002. Looking at the numbers, analysts worried that as older nurses retired, there wouldn't be anyone to replace them, leading to a shortfall. But when economists David I. Auerbach of Rand Health, Peter I. Buerhaus of Vanderbilt University and Douglas O. Staiger of Dartmouth University revisited the census data, they found that the tide had turned: The number of full-time registered nurses between the ages of 23 and 26 increased 62% between 2002 and 2009, growing faster than it had since the 1970s.