New York, NY — March 3, 2008 — The National League for Nursing’s much anticipated annual Nursing Data Review Academic Year 2005-06 has been released, and this year’s is a decidedly good news/bad news report. It casts a wide lens on all types of pre-licensure nursing programs, including those offering diploma, associate and baccalaureate degrees, to determine rates of application, enrollment and graduation. The review also provides a comprehensive demographic profile of the current student population, documenting ethnic-racial identity, gender, and age. On the positive front, the survey shows a marked increase in the percentage of graduating pre-licensure students who are members of racial or ethnic minority groups, with the increase distributed across all racial and ethnic categories: Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians.
“Because research increasingly links minority health disparities to a lack of cultural competence on the part of health care providers, who often differ from their patients with respect to racial-ethnic background, this is a promising finding,” observed NLN CEO Beverly Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN.
Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, director of multicultural affairs at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing, served on the NLN Think Tank on Diversity.
Malone will speak to the nurse educator shortage and other issues on Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 3:00 p.m. at the Carolina Club on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.
The NLN reports that applications to RN programs fell a notable 8.7 percent in 2005-06, down from a peak in applications a year earlier. The drop is suspected to be the result of widespread awareness of the difficulty of gaining entry to nursing school, fueled by the continuing crippling shortage of nurse educators. By all indications, unmet demand for placement persists, with 88,000 qualified applications — one in three of all applications submitted — denied. Baccalaureate degree programs turned away 20 percent of its applications, while associate degree programs turned away 32.7 percent.
A PDF of the Executive Summary of Nursing Data Review Academic Year 2005-06