NLN Releases Annual Survey of Schools of Nursing 2009-2010

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NLN data show both progress and challenges in meeting the IOM “Future of Nursing” report objectives to achieve increased workforce diversity and higher levels of education and training. Among the major findings: Hispanics are still underrepresented among basic RN students and demand for nursing education continues to outstrip supply as faculty shortage and lack of clinical placements impede expansion.

New findings gleaned from the National League for Nursing’s annual survey, administered from October to December 2010, paint a complex picture of nursing education in the United States. In announcing the results, NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, pointed out that while a core strength of the Annual Survey is its long-term trend data, new analyses are also introduced to capture and assess emerging issues. The recent release of the IOM "Future of Nursing" report represented such an opportunity.

Expanding on this juxtaposition, League president Cathleen Shultz, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, said, “The NLN survey sheds light on what the nursing community must do to respond to the report’s call for increasing workforce diversity and achieving higher levels of education and training. A primary goal of our data analysis is understanding trends in nursing program admissions and framing those trends within the broader context of systemic change in health care and higher education.”

Findings of the NLN Annual Survey of Schools of Nursing 2009-1010 include:

  • Despite making tremendous strides toward increasing the diversity of students entering the field of nursing over the past two decades, Hispanics remain underrepresented among prelicensure RN students.
  • There continues to be great competition for entry into nursing education programs as well as a great deal of unmet demand.
  • For basic programs, lack of clinical placement opportunities continue to constrain expansion.
  • Lack of faculty is key obstacle to expanding access to postlicensure programs
  • A shortage of faculty continues to be the cited most frequently as the main obstacle to expansion by RN-to-BSN and doctoral programs

“The data from the survey help point the way forward for the NLN and the nursing community,” concluded Dr. Shultz. “We must recruit a more diverse student body into the nation’s nursing education programs and find new ways to facilitate transitions between entry-level and postlicensure degree programs thereby bringing more nurses with advanced degrees into faculty roles.”

Visit NLN DataView™ at for a comprehensive set of tables and figures in a variety of easy-to-use electronic formats at the website and for the NLN Annual Survey Executive Summary.

Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact NLN chief communications officer, Karen R. Klestzick, at 212-812-0376.

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 34,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members who represent all nursing education programs across the academic spectrum.


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