Lack of faculty hampers enrollment at college-level nursing programs, study finds

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One nursing association is continuing to push for federal funding for professional nursing programs in light of a recent study that reveals a dire nurse faculty shortage at nursing schools.

Enrollment in college level nursing programs rose by only 2% between 2007 and 2008. That marks the lowest-percentage increase in the last eight years, according to a recently released report from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The small growth in enrolment figures could suggest nursing schools have reached their enrollment capacity, suggest study authors. In the 2003 AACN survey, new enrolment in baccalaureate level nursing programs increased by 16.6%.

Many of the schools surveyed say they lack sufficient faculty to handle too many new students, and have had to turn away thousands of qualified applicants. Preliminary data from all 406 BA level colleges surveyed shows 27,771 potential nurses were turned away last year. That number is expected to rise as more information becomes available.

For more information, or to view the report, visit http://www.aacn.nche.edu.