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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

rena, also calls for baccalaureate preparation for all RNs in the future. The growing complexity of patient care and the increase in patient acuity require that RNs have the best entry-level preparation available.

Advocating for less than a baccalaureate degree in nursing has contributed greatly to the current shortage of nurse educators. Data from the federal Division of Nursing clearly show that graduates of baccalaureate-degree programs in nursing are four times more likely than graduates of associate degree programs to pursue a doctoral or master's degree, which is needed to teach in all types of nursing programs.

"To stabilize the nursing workforce, the federal government and other stakeholders must focus on increasing nursing school enrollments at the baccalaureate level," said Dr. Lancaster. "Besides adding to the RN workforce, graduates of baccalaureate nursing programs are much more likely to pursue graduate education and achieve the credentials needed to serve as nurse educators."

AACN and other authorities believe that education has a strong impact on a nurse's ability to practice, and that patients deserve the best educated nursing workforce possible. A growing body of research from Dr. Linda Aiken and others shows a strong connection between baccalaureate education and lower mortality rates. The nursing shortage cannot be used as a reason for denying patients the best care possible, especially when almost 800 programs exist to move entry-level nurses to the baccalaureate and graduate levels. For more details on the programs available to create a more highly qualified nursing workforce, including online options, see http://www.aacn.nche.edu/Media/FactSheets/NursingWrkf.htm.

About the AACN Survey:

Now in its 27th year, AACN's Annual Survey of Institutions with Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Nursing Programs is conducted by the
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SOURCE American Association of Colleges of Nursing
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