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2018 Report on the State of Nursing Education Demand

Here at Digital Media Solutions, we’re presenting this year’s report on the state of nursing education demand thanks to aggregated data within our performance marketing technology, also known as Sparkroom.

Let’s dive into highlights surrounding nursing education programs and their demand. Click here to download the DMS 2018 Report on the State of Nursing Education Demand.

Program Volume and Conversion Rates

Last year (2017), “Health Professions and Related Programs” was the most popular program category, accounting for 41% of all higher education inquiry volume according to our 2017 Higher Education Inquiry Generation Review. Nursing is the #1 program within the health category and the #2 program category across all categories.

Between 2016 and 2017, nursing programs saw a 6.9% drop in volume. Of the top three nursing programs in 2017, “Nursing/Registered Nurse” had the best conversion rate, weighing in at 8.7%.

Format and Degree-Level Distribution Trends

The split between campus-based and online programs was consistent from 2016 to 2017 with campus-based programs pulling in two-thirds of inquiries and a comparable portion of conversions. Approximately three-quarters of nursing leads and conversions in 2017 were for bachelor’s programs. The share of inquiries for bachelor’s programs saw a small dip of 6.6% in 2017, while the share of volume for other degree levels experienced an increase.

Unsurprisingly, master’s nursing programs had the highest conversion rate in 2017, while diploma programs performed the worst.

Media-Channel Trends

For nursing programs, first-party channels were both strong inquiry and conversion drivers, minimizing the need for third-party channels.

Internal website had the dominant share of nursing program volume and conversions in 2016. Moving into 2017, PPC brought in the largest share of inquiry volume, but internal website remained at the top of the list for conversion volume.

The internal website conversion rate for nursing programs was sub-par compared to this channel’s performance for all higher education programs (10.5% vs. 20.2%). Conversely, social media performed better for nursing than for most programs.

Job Growth

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth is expected across all nursing industries with the largest and fastest growth projected for careers that require more education. As of May 2016, the median annual wage for registered nurses was nearly $70,000.

Fill out the form below for more data on nursing program performance.


About the Author

Digital Media Solutions

Digital Media Solutions, LLC (DMS) is the leading global martech company leveraging innovative, performance-driven brand direct and marketplace solutions to connect consumers and advertisers. DMS deploys a robust database of consumer intelligence and leverages massive proprietary media distribution to provide customer acquisition campaigns that grow businesses. Continuing to experience explosive year-over-year growth, DMS has been continuously recognized on the Inc. 5000 list, securing its sixth consecutive ranking in 2019, and the Entrepreneur magazine 360 list. Earlier this year, DMS announced it is anticipating becoming a public company under a reverse merger deal with Leo Holdings Corp. Named one of America’s “Best Places to Work” by Inc. magazine and awarded the Excellence in Lead Generation Award by the LeadsCouncil, DMS brings together some of the industry’s most knowledgeable people, efficient processes and sophisticated technology across the digital marketing spectrum. For more information about DMS, visit Keep up with DMS news at and connect with us on LinkedIn at

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