NursingCAS is operated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in partnership with Liaison International, the nation’s leading provider of centralized application services to health professions associations. Liaison currently works with many other disciplines, including dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistants, and public health.
AACN is the national voice for academic nursing. Representing more than 800 member schools at public and private institutions nationwide, AACN works to establish quality standards for baccalaureate and graduate-degree nursing education, assist deans and directors to implement those standards, influence the nursing profession to improve health care, and promote public support of nursing education, research, and practice.
NursingCAS was developed to maximize capacity in schools of nursing and fill all available seats. Even though enrollment and applications to schools of nursing have increased significantly, many schools have room to accommodate additional students each year. In the 2017-2018 academic year, over 69,000 qualified applications were turned away from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs, even though almost 41,000 seats went unfilled. NursingCAS provides a much-needed mechanism to direct potential students to open seats at participating institutions. Learn more about how this is impacting your state.
NursingCAS is instrumental in providing accurate data to identify workforce trends and inform public policy decisions. The comprehensive data resulting from having a central entry point into nursing assists with developing workforce projections, identifying employment patterns, and tailoring recruitment strategies to reach under-represented populations in nursing. This service also provides health profession advisors with feedback on admissions trends and standards for the profession to help steer qualified students into nursing programs. Additionally, NursingCAS can help schools achieve its diversity and inclusion goals by offering programs a free tool to facilitate holistic admissions.
NursingCAS launched in March 2010 with pre-licensure programs and expanded to graduate level programs in September 2010. The precursor to NursingCAS was a pilot, grant-funded project called WTNEPP by WTNEC (the West Texas Nursing Education Consortium). As a result of the initiative, all nursing applicant spaces where filled in WTNEC programs for the fall 2009 semester. Additionally, 24% of applicants using WTNEC were duplicate applications. NursingCAS seeks to achieve similar results on a national scale once widespread adoption is achieved.