Nursing schools see applications rise, despite COVID burnout

The Associated Press - October 16, 2021 8:07 am

First year nursing student, Emma Champlin, poses for a photo near her class at Fresno State on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Fresno, Calif. Nurses around the U.S. are getting burned out by the COVID-19 crisis and quitting, yet enrollment at nursing schools is surging. Champlin said that like many of her classmates, she saw the pandemic as a chance to learn critical-care skills and to help at a time when those abilities are needed. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Nurses around the U.S. are getting burned out by the severity of the COVID-19 crisis and quitting, yet applications to nursing schools are rising, driven by what educators say are young people who see the global emergency as an opportunity and a challenge.

Nationally, enrollment in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs increased 5.6% in 2020 from the year before to just over 250,000 students, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The higher enrollment could help ease a nursing shortage that existed even before COVID-19. However, the increase, combined with the departure of too many experienced nurses whose job is to help train students, has left many nursing programs without the ability to expand.

 

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