Nursing School Enrollment Rates
In 2010, AACN provided data that indicates a 6.1% increase in undergraduate nursing school enrollments over the previous year. These programs included both entry-level students, as well as enrollment levels from those seeking a second degree in nursing, or students enrolled in accelerated nursing programs, such as an RN-to-BSN degree program.
For graduate students, the increase in student enrollments was 9.8% overall, with the largest growth seen in Doctor of Nursing Practice programs (25.6%). Research-focused, PhD programs reported a 4.5% increase in 2010.
While the total number of nursing school enrollments has increased, further numbers indicate a lower percentage rate of acceptance into all levels of nursing school. Much of this can be attributed to a lack of educators, instructional facilities and financial resources available to nursing schools and hospitals.
40.1% of applicants into nursing school programs were accepted in 2010, with the remaining number of potential students turned away due to a lack of nursing education resources. This lack of resources included the number of nurse educators available to provide classroom and clinical instruction, a shortage of sites and space for clinical and academic instruction, and budget cuts.
The 67,563 applicants turned away from nursing school in 2010 did not include the number of applications not meeting standard admission requirements, but represent students ready to begin a career in nursing, without the available educational resources needed to complete an undergraduate or graduate nursing school program.