Nursing school student populations appear to be changing, particularly in terms of student diversity and the number of openings for new students, according to an infographic released by the Oregon Center for Nursing (OCN) this month.
“We have seen some changes since reporting out this data in 2014,” said OCN Executive Director, Jana R. Bitton, MPA. “While the percent of men enrolled in nursing school has remained almost unchanged, we have seen significant changes in ethnic diversity with the nursing programs. The percent of students identifying as Hispanic or Asian has jumped from 12 to 22 percent.”
This is the second time OCN has released “Nursing Education in Oregon,” an infographic with information on the number of students graduating from nursing school in Oregon, as well as other information collected from Oregon’s nursing programs. This information is used to benchmark programs against state averages, and track the pipeline of nursing students to ensure Oregon has enough nurses to meet the state needs.
Overall, number of spaces available for new students in nursing programs has decreased. In 2014, Oregon nursing programs had slightly more than 1700 available openings. In 2016, the number dropped to 1639.
“Baccalaureate programs saw an increase in available seats,” said Bitton. “This is a good shift because many nursing jobs require the skill set of baccalaureate-educated nurses. However, other factors contributed to an overall decrease in spaces for new nursing students, including the closure of a large associate degree program, and decreasing class sizes in other programs due to lack of nurse faculty.”
OCN is a nonprofit organization created by nursing leaders in 2002. OCN facilitates research and collaboration for Oregon’s nursing workforce to support informed, well-prepared, diverse and exceptional nursing professionals. Recognized by the Oregon state legislature as a state advisory for nursing workforce issues, OCN fulfills its mission through nurse workforce research, building partnerships, and promoting nursing and healthcare. For more information about OCN, please visit www.oregoncenterfornursing.org.
Jana R. Bitton, MPA
Executive Director, Oregon Center for Nursing
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