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The National League for Nursing (NLN) released a preliminary report that indicates an increase in graduates, admissions, and enrollments in RN nursing programs for the 2002-2003 academic year. Despite a hopeful outlook based on these increases, the organization notes that shortages of nurses and nurse educators remain critical, citing a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations report stating that 126,000 nursing positions remain vacant.


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The preliminary figures are based on data analyzed by NLN representatives, approximately 30% of the data collected from 3,017 nursing programs throughout the country. The initial results compare last year's academic year growth rates with that of the previous year, in terms of associate degrees, diplomas, and baccalaureate degrees.


The preliminary data indicate:


[white diamond suit] All three programs experienced a 6% increase in admissions and graduations.


[white diamond suit] Enrollments increased by 15%, with a 5% increase in associate degree and diploma programs and a 21% increase for baccalaureate programs.


[white diamond suit] NLN used these figures to project an immediate workforce supply of 73,000 graduates.


[white diamond suit] The organization predicts a potential workforce, based on admissions and enrollments, of 88,000 (fall enrollments), and 240,500 (current enrollments).



Source:National League for Nursing. "NLN 2002-2003 Survey of RN Nursing Programs indicates positive upward trends in the nursing workforce supply." Available online: