Despite this trainees showed "high levels of enthusiasm and commitment to the programme".
They describe the nursing role to prospective students as looking after people when they are sick or injured.
The Government is looking to make the profession more attractive to undergraduates.
The RCM has described the situation as 'simply unacceptable'.
Ministers claimed the purpose of reforming the funding system was to boost the number of available student places.
Despite a small increase, the number of applications remains down by 29% overall.
The two-year full-time course has broken away from the apprenticeship route.
It is not yet known how much of the course would be delivered online.
Both their salary and tuition fees will be paid.
A report claims young people are deterred from a career in nursing by the grades required to apply.
A total of 30,650 people applied for undergraduate nursing degrees this year - 2,650 of these being men.
Any registered healthcare professional, even if they are newly qualified, can act as a practice supervisor.
The new online nursing degree will be designed to make nursing training ‘more accessible’.
The RCN claims the report makes it clear that the university route remains the fastest and safest way to educate, train and recruit the nurses so...
The increase follows the government's decision to scrap the NHS bursary in August 2017 and replace it with a system of loans.