Enrollment in college nursing programs experienced its first year-over-year decline in two decades in 2022, a potentially worrisome sign amid industry struggles to recruit and retain staff, declines in residency applications and an aging healthcare workforce.
Between 2021 and 2022, the number of students in entry-level baccalaureate programs declined by 1.4%, or 3,518 students, according to a survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. It marks the first decrease in Bachelor of Science in Nursing program students since 2000.
In 2001, 77,958 students were enrolled in entry-level programs. In 2021, enrollment was 256,578 students. Last year, it was 253,060 students, according to the survey released Tuesday.