2009 Interest in Nursing: Survey of BRN-approved Nursing Education Programs

To: Members, Board of Registration in Nursing
From: Judith M. Pelletier, MSN, RN Nursing Education Coordinator
Date: for review on 4/14/10

Methodology:

Designed by Board staff to collect data related to the pool of qualified students entering Board-approved nursing education programs in the fall 2009, the survey tool is a one-page, 11-item questionnaire. Administered annually, the questionnaire requests the number of applications each program received as well as the number of qualified applicants the program reviewed, accepted, registered and enrolled. It also seeks information regarding the number of qualified applicants who are also Licensed Practical Nurses and whether the program maintains a "waiting list" of qualified applicants. Questions also include the extent to which programs were unable to admit qualified students to classes beginning in the fall 2009.

The survey sent via electronic mail with the Annual Report form in August 2009.

Data are reported by program type (Registered Nurse and Practical Nurse) as well as by RN degree type (hospital based diploma and associate degree, and baccalaureate and higher degree). Data can also be sorted by publicly funded institutions.

Results:

Individual program and aggregate data, compiled by year and program type, are attached.

Findings:

A total of 67 nurse administrators (94% of all nurse administrators) responded to the fall 2009 survey.

Registered Nurse programs

(44 respondent: 19 Associate degree; 24 Baccalaureate & Higher degree; 1 Diploma)

  • The number of applications received by all RN program respondents increased 165% in 2009 (n=22,563) compared to 2005 (n=13,669); noting, 15 additional RN programs responded to the survey in 2009 compared to 2005.
  • The number of qualified applicants accepted by all RN program respondents increased 159% in 2009 (n=6,680) compared to 2005 (n=4,206)
  • Among baccalaureate and higher degree program respondents, the number of qualified applicants accepted increased 118% in 2009 (n=4,731) compared to 2005 (n=2,166)
  • The number of qualified applicants who enrolled in RN programs in the fall 2009 increased 145% (n=3,597) compared to 2005 (n=2,489);
  • Among all RN program respondents, enrollments included a total of 145 LPNs, of which 81% were enrolled in Associate Degree programs (11 of 24 baccalaureate and higher degree programs reported LPN enrollment is not known or reported 'not applicable' or provided no response);
  • 12 (27%) respondents reported having a waiting list of qualified applicants (5 associate degree and hospital based programs and 7 baccalaureate and higher degree programs). A total of 756 qualified applicants were placed on a waiting list, an decrease of 17% (n=155) compared to 2005 (n=911); however this represents an increase of 150 qualified applicants (20%) being placed on a waiting list as compared to 2008 (n=606); and
  • RN program respondents reported they were unable to admit qualified applicants in the fall 2009, citing a lack of space (n=9), faculty (n=7), clinical placements (n=8), and the program was "at capacity" (n=8). According to these respondents, they were unable to admit a total of 1,867 qualified applicants, representing 1,337 fewer applicants being denied admission compared to 2008;
  • Among baccalaureate and higher degree program respondents reported a total of 961 qualified applicants could not be admitted in the fall 2009, an decrease of 633 applicants from 2008;
  • Among associate and hospital-based program respondents reported a total of 906 qualified applicants could not be admitted in the fall 2009, a decrease of 704 applicants from 2008.

Practical Nurse programs (23 respondents)

  • The number of applications received by all PN program respondents decreased 10% in 2009 (n=3,831) compared to 2008 (n=4,312); however the number of applications received in 2009 did increase 21% (n=655) compared to 2005;
  • The number of qualified applicants accepted by all PN program respondents increased 20% in 2009 (n=1,223) compared to 2005 (n=1,023);
  • The number of qualified applicants who enrolled in PN programs in the fall 2009 (n=1,135) increased 104% compared to 2005 (n=557);
  • 10 of the 23 respondents reported having a waiting list with a total of 178 qualified applicants compared to 267 applicants in 2008; a decrease of 27%.
  • 17 (74%) respondents reported they were unable to admit qualified applicants in the fall 2009, citing a lack of space (n=4), faculty (n=8), clinical agencies (n=7), and program as "at capacity" (n=6). According to these respondents, they were unable to admit a total of 433 qualified applicants, a decrease of 406 applicants from 2008;
  • Since 2005, the Board has approved 5 PN programs and 1 PN program has closed.

Conclusion

Nursing education programs experienced decreases in applications (n=1521) and enrollments (n=349) in the fall 2009 compared to 2008; however compared to 2005 nursing education programs have experienced an increase in both applications (n=9549) and enrollments (n=1287)

The reasons cited most frequently by programs as limiting admissions of qualified students is the lack of space or capacity, followed by faculty and clinical sites. It was noted that for the first time two (2) nursing education programs reported student finances as a barrier to admitting qualified students (1 associate degree RN program, 1 PN program).



Survey


This information is provided by the Division of Health Professions Licensure within the Department of Public Health.