Study shows increase in nurses who have a doctoral degree

A recent study shows that more U.S. nurses hold doctoral degrees than ever before.
A recent study shows that more U.S. nurses hold doctoral degrees than ever before.

A recently released study by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) shows that enrollment in doctoral nursing programs greatly increased in 2010, along with the number of students in baccalaureate and masters courses.

The Association cites a 2010 study by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which suggests that the number of nurses in the national workforce who hold a doctoral degree doubled in 2010. In order to meet the student demand for higher education, in five years, the number of institutions that offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program has increased from 20 to 153. Currently, universities across the country are in the beginning stages of launching another 106 DNP degree tracks.

The AACN survey also shows an increase in research-based doctoral programs, in particular. In 2010, for example, enrollment in PhD nursing courses grew by 10.4 percent from 2009.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals who hold nursing degrees will meet a job market that is predicted to increase greatly in the coming years. Between 2008 and 2018, the field is expected to grow by approximately 22 percent, which is much faster than the average rate for all other occupations.

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