Today, the Utah Foundation releases America’s Nursing School: The Nursing Program at Western Governors University. The analysis, commissioned by Western Governors University (WGU), finds that the institution is playing a leading role in filling this vital health care and economic need across the country.
Among the findings of the study:
The number of unfilled openings in the health care sector doubled from the end of 2019 to the beginning of 2022.
As an online university, WGU has provided 84,390 nursing graduates from all 50 states since 2009 – 60,368 of whom received bachelor’s degrees in nursing and 24,022 of whom received master’s degrees in nursing.
WGU nursing graduates will have earned an estimated $6.7 billion in 2022, and their jobs and income are associated with an estimated $5.6 billion in additional supporting jobs.In total, WGU’s nursing program graduates are linked to 170,000 jobs and $12 billion in personal income.
WGU nursing graduates make up 2.0% of all the registered nurses with an active license in the nation.
In 2021, WGU produced a whopping 17% of the nation’s registered nurses earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, suggesting that its already outsized role in educating national nursing personnel will rapidly expand.
Utah Foundation President Peter Reichard described WGU’s impact as “eye-popping.” “Our nation is facing critical challenges in staffing hospitals,” Reichard said. “Western Governors is deploying an innovative approach to open opportunities and lead the way forward.”