For the fifth consecutive year, student enrollment in entry-level nursing baccalaureate programs has increased. Yet colleges are turning away thousands of qualified applicants because of a faculty shortage, according to data released by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).
A survey of 408 nursing schools showed that enrollment in entry-level BSN programs increased 13% from 2004 to 2005. The survey also revealed that in 2005, schools turned away 32,617 qualified applicants. In 2004, schools turned away 29,425 applicants.
To help relieve the faculty shortage, some schools are easing restrictions on retired faculty members, allowing them to teach part-time. Others are contracting with hospitals so staff nurses can teach part-time. The AACN and other nursing organizations are currently lobbying for more funding for nursing programs.
For more information about survey findings, visit AACN's Web site at http://www.aacn.nche.edu.