The number of applications to the Yale School of Nursing’s largest master’s program fell 6 percent for the 2010-’11 academic year, Director of Admissions Angela Kühne said Wednesday.

The Graduate Entry Pre-Specialty in Nursing program, which offers a master’s degree to students with no previous nursing education, received 352 applications for a class of about 110 to 115 students this admissions season, a drop from the yearly average of 375, Kühne said. Kühne and School of Nursing Dean Margaret Grey attributed the drop in applications to the school’s elimination of its spring application deadline and to the recession causing fewer people to make a career switch into nursing.

“[In the recession,] fewer people are interested in moving cross country for a program like this,” Kühne said.

Because there are fewer nursing positions available in the recession, applicants to the Graduate Entry Pre-Specialty in Nursing program — who already hold bachelor’s degrees in other fields — may not want to pursue a second career with most nursing jobs already filled, Grey said. By eliminating the spring application deadline, no applicants were rolled over to the fall, which also caused the number of applications to drop, Kühne said.

“In the past, people in the spring who weren’t accepted were rolled over to the fall,” Kühne said. “This is the first year without rollover, so there are fewer folders than last year.”

While the number of applications to the Graduate Entry Pre-Specialty in Nursing program has fallen this year, Kühne said the school’s total admissions rate should remain steady at about 37 percent. Kühne added that she did not expect the yield rate of about 55 to 60 percent to change.

Applications to the Academic Master’s in Nursing program — intended for students with a nursing background — stayed level at 75 applications, she added.

Neither Kühne nor Grey said they expected a change in financial aid.

The Yale School of Nursing ranked seventh in the most recent U.S. News & World Report survey of American nursing schools.