Amid Calls for a More Highly Educated RN Workforce, New AACN Data Confirm Enrollment Surge in Schools of Nursing
Amid Calls for a More Highly Educated RN Workforce,
New AACN Data Confirm Enrollment Surge in Schools of Nursing
WASHINGTON, DC, March 9, 2015 – According to new data released today by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), enrollment in baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs increased last year as more nurses answered the call to achieve higher levels of education. With the greatest gains found in baccalaureate degree-completion programs and the practice-focused doctorate, students are returning to nursing school in record numbers to develop the skills needed to meet employer demands and patient care needs.
“AACN applauds the nation’s nursing schools for their efforts to expand student capacity as momentum for advancing the education level of the nursing workforce continues to accelerate,” said AACN President Eileen T. Breslin, PhD, RN, FAAN. “As the national voice for baccalaureate and graduate nursing education, AACN is committed to working with all stakeholders to better prepare registered nurses (RNs) to thrive in all practice settings. We strongly believe that encouraging all nurses to continue their education is in the best interest of patients and the communities we serve.”
AACN, the Tri-Council for Nursing, and other authorities are united in their view that a more highly educated nursing workforce is critical to meeting the nation’s healthcare needs and delivering safe patient care. This shared understanding was clearly reflected in the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Future of Nursing report, which has garnered widespread support from healthcare leaders in academia and practice. The evidenced-based recommendations in the IOM report call for preparing at least 80% of the RN workforce at the baccalaureate level by 2020 as well as a doubling of the number of nurses with doctorates.