New Data Show Enrollment Declines in Schools of Nursing, Raising Concerns About the Nation’s Nursing Workforce

According to new data released today by AACN, the number of students in entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs decreased by 1.4% last year, ending a 20-year period of enrollment growth in programs designed to prepare new registered nurses (RNs). With declines also recorded in master’s and PhD programs, collective action must be taken to strengthen pathways into nursing to ensure the nation’s healthcare needs are met. Despite the decrease in enrolled students, nursing schools turned away thousands of qualified applicants last year due largely to a shortage of faculty and clinical training sites.

Rounds With Leadership: A Milestone for Baccalaureate Nursing Education

For the first time in our history, more than 70% of registered nurses (RNs) are educated at the baccalaureate or higher degree level, according to new data released earlier this month via the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey.  Further, most RNs now enter the workforce with a baccalaureate or entry-level master’s degree (51.5%).