National League of NursingNational League of Nursing

The Voice of Nursing Education

News Release

Share This Page

Despite Encouraging Trends Suggested By the NLN's Comprehensive Survey of All Nursing Programs, Large Number of Qualified Applications Continue to be Turned Down

12/09/2005

December 9, 2005—New York, NY— The National League for Nursing today released a preliminary report showing an increase in applications, admissions, and enrollments in nursing programs at all levels. While this uptick might seem reassuring, Dr. Ruth Corcoran, chief executive officer of the NLN, cautions that these statistics don’t tell the whole story: “The number of qualified nurses available to teach future generations of RNs continues to decline. This year, in a significant increase of 18 percent, schools of nursing were forced to reject more than 147,000 qualified applications. Record numbers of potential nurses await places in America’s RN programs.”

As the only nursing organization that collects data on all nursing education programs in the USA and its territories, the National League for Nursing is uniquely positioned to measure the critical impact of nursing education on the supply of RNs.

Highlights of the NLN’s 2005 National Nursing Education Database Survey

Estimated number of qualified applications rejected by nursing programs: 147,465

  • Baccalaureate ...............33,279
  • Associate Degree..........110,576
  • Diploma........................3,611

Other projected increases over 2003-04, by type of nursing program, are as follows:

Admissions to all pre-licensure RN programs: +20.8%

  • Baccalaureate .............+16.3%
  • Associate Degree.........+27.7%
  • Diploma.....................+0.5%

Enrollments in all pre-licensure RN programs: +19.6%

  • Baccalaureate ..............+22.9%
  • Associate Degree..........+26.1%
  • Diploma....................+19.9%

Graduations from all pre-licensure RN programs: 26.1%

  • Baccalaureate ..............+22.8%
  • Associate Degree..........+33.6%
  • Diploma....................+15.4%

The final report, with complete data tables, detailed analysis, and implications will be published spring 2006.

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact NLN communications director Karen R. Klestzick at 212-812-0376, kklestzick@nln.org.

The NLN advances quality nursing education that prepares the nursing workforce to meet the needs of diverse populations in an ever-changing health care environment.