What’s Causing the Surge in Nursing School Enrollment and Why You Should Care.

Enrollment Surge in School of Nursing - BlogHaving educated nurses in the workforce is an absolute must. The more educated a nurse is, the more equipped they are to do their job. While a lot of education comes in the form of on the job learning, formal education is important as well.

In the past few years, data has emerged showing that there has been a surge in nursing school enrollment, both baccalaureate-degree programs and doctoral programs.

Expansion of RN-to-BSN Programs

RN-to-BSN programs provide a bridge for registered nurses to continue their education.

According to Pamela Austin Thompson, National Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) program, “the market for the BSN nurse has been stimulated by demand from employers who recognize the important role baccalaureate nurses play in achieving both individual and population health outcomes.”1

The education of nurses affects patient outcomes, patient care and work settings. Because of this fact, employers are taking a closer look at nurse education.

Seventy-nine percent of employers are now requiring or expressing a strong preference for nurses with a baccalaureate degree. This strong preference has lead to an expansion in baccalaureate-degree programs.1

“[The American Association of Colleges of Nursing] 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.1

Expansion in Doctoral Programs

The expansion in doctoral programs is just as important as the expansion in baccalaureate-degree programs. Such higher education programs equip nurses with a higher level of expertise and scientific knowledge.

According to Susan B. Hassmiller, Senior Adviser for Nursing with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “strengthening the pipeline of nurses entering both research- and practice-focused doctoral programs is critical to meeting the nation’s growing demand for nurse scientists, faculty, expert clinicians, leaders, and innovators.”1

Having educated nurses is essential to a good healthcare system. If you are considering going back to school to enhance your education as a nurse, don’t be afraid to tackle the challenge!

What level of education do you have? Tell us in the comments below.


  1. http://www.aacn.nche.edu/faculty/news/2015/enrollment