Hang in there... it will be worth it. Are you trying to get into the day or weekend/evening program? The waiting list shortens as people drop out or defer, so they probably give you the worst case scenario in terms of waiting time where they assume that everyone will take an available spot once their name comes up.
The new grad programs start in January or February for most hospitals. Usually, there are different start dates during the year, most likely on a quarter or semester basis to correspond with graduation dates. Training is the first 12 weeks where you're in new grad preceptorship. Then they throw you to the lions... j/k. According to the clinical educator at Sharp, they assess your skills to function independently about 10 weeks into your preceptorship and determine if you're ready.
I took NCLEX 6 1/2 weeks after graduation. I was extremely nervous about boards, but was more of a wreck while waiting for the results! I felt like I failed miserably, but two days later, my name was on the board of registered nursing with a license number.
I don't really know why they enroll more in the fall. It could just be that traditionally, since the school year starts in the fall, more people sign up for classes. It could also be that the staff has to teach more advanced classes in the spring, so there are less offerings for the fundamentals classes.
Hope that helps! Hang in there...