the national league for nursing's annual nursing data review casts a wide lens on all types of nursing programs, from doctoral through diploma, including the 1000-plus programs offering diploma and associate nursing degrees, to determine rates of application, enrollment, and graduation. administered from march to september 2008 to obtain 2006- 2007 data, the review also provides a comprehensive demographic profile of the current student population, documenting ethnic-racial identity, gender, and age.
“research undertaken by the nln has long played a key role in decision-making by federal and state governments regarding the nursing workforce,” observed nln ceo beverly malone, phd, rn, faan. “the nln obtains data from lpn to baccalaureate programs creating a true picture of nursing education and contributing to an exact understanding of the importance of the nursing workforce today and tomorrow.”
key findings include:
eighty-four percent of us nursing school
attempted to hire new faculty in 2007-2008
of those, 79 percent found recruitment “difficult”
and almost one in three schools found
it “very difficult.” the two main difficulties
cited were “not enough qualified candidates”
(cited by 46 percent of schools), followed
by inability to offer competitive
salaries (cited by 38 percent).
despite increased capacity, an estimated
99,000 qualified applications—or almost
40 percent of qualified applications submitted
to prelicensure rn programs—were rejected
and selectivity rates (a.k.a.
“acceptance rates”) were extremely low, with
53 percent of rn programs falling into the
“highly selective” category — a designation
earned by programs offering admission to
fewer than one half of their applicants.
capacity continued to grow, although more
though indicators point to some
expansion in the rn workforce pipeline —
the nation added 64 additional prelicensure
rn programs between 2006 and 2007; the
rate of growth was slower than in the previous
associate degree students continued to predominate.
associate degree students comprised
over one half of all students enrolled
in prelicensure rn programs, and more than
three fifths of admissions and graduations in
admissions have grown.
admitted 12.3 percent more new students
than last year. baccalaureate admissions continued
to grow as well albeit at a slower rate
(5.6 percent in 2006-07) than in recent years.
diploma admissions were down slightly (4.2
driven by an increase
in adn enrollment, the nation's ranks of
prelicensure nursing students grew by almost
20,000 or 6.7 percent, between 2006 and 2007.
by contrast bsn programs did not change
significantly during this period
graduation rates slowed
. prelicensure graduations
increased by only 3 percent between
2006 and 2007 after two years of more than
8 percent annual growth. associate degree
graduations accounted for the larger share of
the increase, rising by 4.3 percent. growth in
baccalaureate program graduations slowed
to only 2.3 percent, after a dramatic rise of
almost 20 percent last year
there was no significant movement in the
percentage of racial-ethnic minorities graduating
from prelicensure rn programs
between 2006 and 2007.
although the class of 2006 had been considerably
more diverse yhan in previous years, 2007 brought
little change with just under 23.6 percent of new
graduates from minority backgrounds in 2007
compared with 24.5 percent in 2006.
similarly, the percentage of male graduates
held steady at 12 percent in 2007
concluded nln president dr. elainetagliareni, “given the opportunities being presented as health care reform moves front and center and funding potentially becomes available via the recovery and reinvestment act,
these nursing workforce data are more important than ever.”
source: nln annual survey of schools of nursing, 2008