30th Apr, 2010 | Source : American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
On March 31, 2010, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) debuted NursingCAS, the first centralized, Web-based application service for individuals looking to apply to nursing schools across the country. Similar to services already in place for medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and the other health professions, NursingCAS offers students a convenient way to apply to multiple registered nursing (RN) programs with a single online application.
Through this service, students may apply to any type of entry-level RN program, including entry-level master’s programs, baccalaureate or associate degrees, and hospital-based diploma programs. Plans are underway to begin accepting applications to graduate nursing programs in Fall 2010. The NursingCAS service reduces or eliminates the need for duplicate application data, letters of reference, test scores, transcripts, and other admissions materials that students need to gather when applying to nursing schools. Students can access the status of their application in real time from any computer with Internet access. Nursing school applicants will also have one point of contact for customer service and technical support needs.
NursingCAS offers a comprehensive online checklist and instructions to help applicants easily navigate through the process. Applicants may apply to as many programs as they choose. Keep in mind that after the initial fee, all subsequent applications may be sent at the reduced rate. Applicants will be charged $45 for the initial school designation, and $30 for each additional school to which they apply. The incremental costs of applying to multiple nursing schools will be far less than applying directly to individual institutions.
Another benefit of NursingCAS is the ability to fill open seats in nursing schools. Even though enrollment in schools of nursing has increased significantly for the past 10 years, many schools report having available seats each year. In 2009, 55,000 qualified applications were turned away for baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, even though more than 14,000 available seats went unfilled. NursingCAS provides a much needed mechanism to match students looking to gain entry into nursing school with open seats at participating institutions. Filling all available seats in our nation's nursing schools is critical to addressing the nursing shortage and meeting the projected demand for RNs. NursingCAS will point students to these open seats to ensure that more qualified applicants are accommodated each year.
More than 300 schools of nursing representing all types of RN programs have taken their first steps toward participating in NursingCAS. Currently, 52 schools of nursing that draw more than 25,000 applications each year have registered with NursingCAS, including top-ranked academic health centers, liberal-arts-focused schools, public and private institutions, religiously-affiliated schools, and a hospital-based diploma program. New schools will be added to the service each week as the system updates.
For more information on nursing’s new centralized application service, visit www.nursingcas.org.