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Nursing Now: numbers outline the face of the profession.

In Houston...

The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston has, since 1996, doubled its undergraduate enrollment.

Over 600 students are currently enrolled in the Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.), Master's of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.), and Doctor of Science in Nursing (D.S.N.) degree programs at the UT School of Nursing.

The nursing school graduates more than 120 new nurses and more than 110 nurses with graduate degrees each year.

More than 5,000 nurses have graduated since 1972 (when the UT School of Nursing was established).

More than 600 students are currently enrolled in the school.

The UT School of Nursing is divided into three sections-

Almost 100 faculty members teach and conduct research at the UT School of Nursing.

This year, over 1,300 applications were received for just 130 spots in the UT School of Nursing.

The national average for male enrollment in nursing schools is less than 5 percent. At the UT School of Nursing, it is about 20 percent.

In Texas...

Currently, Texas hospitals have a 20 percent or more vacancy rate for nurses. Ten percent vacancy is considered a crisis.

"Drive-by" status at hospitals is often due to a shortage of nursing staff.

Texas is far below the average of the nurse-to-population national ratio. United States - 782 nurses per 100,000 population; in Texas - 609 nurses per 100,000 people.

In 1998, to match the national average of RNs per 100,000 population, Texas would have needed almost 39,000 more RNs.

The need for all nurse specialties in the Texas-Mexico border region-as indicated by comparing the ratios of nurses per 100,000 population with those of the state and the nation and by the designations of underserved and/or health professional shortage areas-is great and unmet.

From 1994 to 1998, Texas nursing education programs received 37 percent fewer applications and enrollment dropped 17 percent. The number of graduates decreased, over the same time period, by 14 percent.

In the nation...

The average age of a nurse today is 44 years old. When nurses retire, replacements are difficult to find.

National surveys have uncovered a trend of early retirement for RNs. The combination of aging and early retirement, it is believed, will create critical future shortages in the RN workforce.

Nurses under age 30 have decreased from 25 percent of the field in 1980 to only 9 percent in 2000.

Ethnic minorities make up only 9 percent of nurses, far below the population percentage.

Men make up only 5 percent of the nation's nursing workforce.

The majority of registered nurses-two-thirds-have only an associate degree education.

Only 8 percent of nurses have a master's degree, and less than 1 percent of nurses have a doctoral degree.

There is a net loss of nursing faculty each year-with more faculty retiring or resigning than entering a teaching career.