This is something we have discussed in my classes as well.
We felt that nursing schools should remain being just as competitive for several reasons.
It schools were to have an "open door" policy, anyone would be allowed to study nursing. It might help the "shortage" but nursing as a profession needs much more than just warm bodies. They need quality students. With high standards for entering nursing programs
, the profession assures that we get the "cream of the crop". Students who are smart, intuitive, and professionally minded, not just students who think it would be a nice thing to do, or have a glorified image of what being a nurse is like.
The more nurses there are, the less a hospital will have to increase salary. There are always going to be people who will do the same work, for less money, which hurts our financial situation as a whole. There are a lot of people in the general population that thing 15 dollars an hour is a high salary.
Its is a complex situation. Competition means that only the best students will continue on to be nurses, and it gives us a higher quality of nurses (people who care about learning, not just the money).
If you were a patient, would you prefer a nurse that you knew had to study hard, and be competetive to get to be where they are, or would you prefer a warm body who barely scraped by?
There are a lot of points to think about, and I have NO IDEA what a real solution would be.