Alarming Decrease in Nursing Career Interest Among High School Students

Lee's Summit, MO, September 23, 2009 --( Annual research has indicated that the percent of high school students interested in a Nursing career has dropped sharply over the past few years, according to My College Options®, the nation’s largest college planning program. Between the graduating classes of 2009 and 2011, the number of students reporting that they will pursue a career in Nursing has fallen 18%.

This decline in interest is likely to translate into fewer Nursing graduates in the near future. This is particularly alarming because according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, our country will require an increase in healthcare employment of 21% from 2006 to 2016. Nursing occupations are expected to grow much faster than average. Historical trend data indicates that the number of Nursing graduates has closely followed the interest level of high school students.

Nursing interest has also been more erratic in past years than overall healthcare interest. The number of students reporting an interest in pursuing a career in Medicine or Pharmacy has increased gradually since the 2002 high school graduation class. However, after a steady decline, interest in a nursing career grew a remarkable 84% between the high school years of 2002 and 2009, but has now begun to fall again.

About® is a comprehensive, free online college planning service that is part of the National Research Center for College & University Admissions™ (NRCCUA®). NRCCUA is a non-profit education research organization based in Lee’s Summit, MO. For 38 years, NRCCUA has conducted the largest nationwide survey of high school students, which serves as a communications link between college-bound high school students and public and private colleges and universities. For more information, visit

My College Options
Cara Strothmann