WGU leads nation in nursing graduates

August 05, 2022 (Utah Policy)

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.”

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