There are quite a few factors at play. Here are a few:
1. There is a discrepency between the supply of nursing programs
slots, and the demand by students for those spots.
2. It is not easy for nursing schools to simply "expand" classes since they need both the clinical spaces/instructors as well as the lecture instructors to accomodate any such expansion. Also, it often takes approval by the State Board of Nursing to expand programs.
3. There are many "parties"/forces pushing for different agendas:
a. Hospitals/HMO's would as soon see the market flooded with nurses so that they wouldn't have to pay as high of wages or as good of benefits and bonuses.
b. On the other hand nursing organizations frequently want to see HIGHER STANDARDS for nurses because this raises nursing as a profession and tends to lead to better benefits/pay/working conditions for nurses.
What we end up with tends to be somewhere in the middle.
Places like Ivy Tech are especially in demand since not that many places even offer the ASN degree any longer and you can essentially earn allmost as much with an ASN as a BSN degree in the current job market. Plus there are many opportunities to go back and get your BSN degree often ONLINE and frequently PAID for by your employer. Whether you are talking about PS3's, education, or attractive dates the LAW of Supply and Demand is almost always at work!