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Enrollment Growth Slows at U.S. Nursing Colleges and Universities in 2007 Despite Calls for More Registered Nurses
Date:12/3/2007

rcent enrollment increase is based on data supplied by the same 427 schools reporting in both 2006 and 2007. This is the seventh consecutive year of enrollment gains with 7.6, 9.6, 14.1, 16.6, 8.1, and 3.7 percent increases in 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, and 2001, respectively. Prior to the seven-year upswing, baccalaureate nursing programs experienced six years of declining enrollments from 1995 through 2000. For a graphic depicting enrollment changes in baccalaureate nursing programs from 1994-2007, see

http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Media/ppt/94-07EnrChgs.ppt.

The AACN survey also found that the number of graduates from entry-level baccalaureate programs increased by 7.4 percent from 2006 to 2007. The rise in graduations follows 18.4, 13.4, 14.0, 4.3 and 3.2 percent increases in the number of graduates in 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002, respectively. This upward trend was preceded by a six-year period of graduation declines from 1996 through 2001.

Qualified Students Turned Away Despite Nursing Shortage:

Though interest in nursing careers remains strong, many individuals seeking to enter the profession cannot be accommodated in nursing programs due to faculty and resource constraints. Preliminary AACN data show that 30,709 qualified applications were turned away from entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs in 2007. The number of qualified applicants denied admission each year remains high with 38,415; 37,514; 29,425; 15,944; and 3,600 students turned away in 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002, respectively. AACN expects this number to rise even higher when final data on qualified applicants turned away in 2007 is available in March 2008. The primary barriers to accepting all qualified students at nursing colleges and universities continue to be insufficient faculty, clinical placement sites, and classroom space. For a graphic showing the number of qualified
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SOURCE American Association of Colleges of Nursing
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