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Research Report

Overcoming Obstacles to Nursing Enrollment Growth

January 12, 2024, By Lauren Edmonds, Senior Director, Research Development

Key Insights

Demand for nursing education, by both students and their prospective employers, suggests significant enrollment growth potential. Few schools have successfully maximized that potential, however, due to growth constraints. This report outlines insights from over a decade of nursing education research and explores the factors limiting program growth.

  • Section one explores trends across the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree markets.
  • Section two addresses the primary obstacles to growth: the faculty shortage and the clinical placement shortage. The report offers four tactics for overcoming these obstacles:
    • Invest in Health Care Staffing Partnerships
    • Embrace Grow-Your-Own Faculty Interventions
    • Minimize Preceptorship Obstacles and Incentivize Participation
    • Invest in Preceptor Sourcing
  • Section three outlines modernizing nursing program curricula to meet today’s students’ needs. The report presents four tactics for addressing those needs:
    • Embed Cultural Competence into Program
    • Introduce Telehealth Content and Exposure
    • Preempt Graduate Burnout Through Network-Building
    • Prepare Students for Roles Beyond Acute Care

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