nursing shortage.....are there enough nursing schools?

Nurses General Nursing



I graduated at a University in the midwest. (4 years ago) It was tuff getting into nursing school. Our class started off with 10-15 more students than they usually allow. Are there a shortage of nursing schools? And is it too hard getting into nursing school?

I was lost for 4 years. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I was in a local community college. I spent a lot of time getting a general degree...a business degree but didn't follow through with any degrees. I didn't have the interest in any of those degree. Than I decided to become a nurse. I was gong ho...and totally excited.

I went to the counselor at the community college. I had a 3.2 average. The counselor told me....even if I got straight A's...I would never get into THEIR nursing program or the local Univerity program. The only program I could get into was a University in a "bad area." That my mother would never let me drive to. I followed my heart and continued to finish my general degree. I got straight A's.

I went to the local university and applied. With my 3.6 or 3.7. And hooray I got in.

Did anyone else have difficulty getting into a nursing program? What kind of grade point do most nursing school require to get in? Do you think there's a nursing school shortage in your area? (I'm concerned with nursing shortage...we haven't been meeting matrix...supervision says it's due to nursing shortage)

The basic question that you ask is very loaded. Is there a nursing SCHOOL shortage? Yes and no. The problem is multifaceted: there are many nursing programs but they only allow so many students to enter due to predictions of how the market will respond and availability of professors to teach. The professors are, just like nursing population in general, getting older. As they retire and/or move into new positions they need replaced, and not alot of people are jumping on that band wagon.

Why? Well, some is people usually need a masters to teach full time and get tenure at a good university. Entrance in to masters programs is down and has been for a while. Why? Again lack of masters prepared and PHD nurses to teach. I work with a girl who is in the process of getting her masters only to find out that when she graduates she

A) will have a hard time finding a job. (only so many MDS hire NPs and she will need to actively sell herself for the position. And BELIEVE IT OR NOT the market is flooded with NPS in some areas, the NE is one.)

B) more than likey she will make the same money as a pre-masters degree RN. (especially in the beginning. I have heard alot of NPs either working for free or for substandard wages until they prove themselves.)

The second piece is the market. Right now we are going into a nursing crunch. Consider this only 2 years ago new nurses coming out could barely get a job in a nursing home (not that there is anything wrong with nursing homes) let alone a hospital. The hospitals WOULD NOT TOUCH a new grad. Now this year at my place, as everywhere else, it seems all the new ones coming in are new grads. We have even HIRED NEW GRADS TO STAFF THE ER. So the real question what happened in two years to create such an influx.

I think we have to look at the nursing staff that is already out there they know the answer and its all over this board. Hard work, low pay etc, etc. This is not the way to encourage people into our profession by touting how hard we work and how little respect we get, but sadly it is reality.

AHHH! Now back to the nursing schools. Another point of contention. How many of you were told that nursing school was easy, and a place were one would get alot of faculty support. Be truthful.

I know i wasnt told that. I was told nursing school would be alot of hard work. (That of course, I found acceptable) Once i started researching programs that is when I found out that INSTRUCTORS EAT THEIR YOUNG. (So i was careful of my school selection.)

THIS brings us to another statement you made. You summized that because your class 10-15 students above what it allowed that there must be a school shortage. I dont dispute that, but let me ask you how many of you actually graduated? Of my class we started with 50. The max clinical spaces in the junior year was 30 and in the senior year there were only 25 slots. Most of us knew that. We were to be weeded out. If you will. So we started with 50 and amazingly, Im being facisious, we graduated with 25.

The school expects some people to fail. I doubt that we would find any nurse who could say they dont remember at least one instructor from school who was the TERMINATOR. You remember her the one who would go after people and hope they fail. Boy, i remember her, luckily she was not interested in me. However, i sure felt sorry for the ones she went after. (We lost 8 people during one semester, all in her class).

Your last question. What GPA to get in?

Mine was a 4.0, but we had one girl who had a 2.7. She made it. The schools usually like the higher the better. Our average was probably around a 3.5. With that GPA any program at the school will take you. So if someone is turned down by nursing, and we all know alot are, they dont need to reapply next year any other program will welcome them. So from this stand point it would appear that there arent enough nursing schools if all these people are applying but cant get in, but will all those that apply make a good nurse? And will the market support it? Checks and balances.



I don't think there are a shortage of nursing schools. In the area I live in there are one of each: LPN, ADN, & BSN programs. Across the river in another state is another LPN program. Not a shortage of schools, or nurses. It's this thing called burn-out. No respect, too much responsibility, and not enough time nor support to accomplish all the things necessary to give good patient care. I've seen quite a few nurses graduate, start working, get tired of being treated like a nobody by everyone, and move on to something else. Sure wish I could win a lottery. I love what I do, but can't imagine doing this for 30+ more years.

Hi smile.gif

I live on the east coast in a small rural area. In the town i live in we have vocational school that every year graduates at least 20 LPNs, the nieghboring town has a 2 yr college (20 minute drive from me) that graduates about 20 Associate RNs per year. I could drive another hour to a 4 year college and obtain a BS degree. As you can see in this area there doesn't seem to be a nursing shortage by looking at those stats. Yet when you are actually working in the local hospitals, clinics, home health, nursing homes, etc. there seems to be a shortage. The staffing is always short, if someone quits it takes forever to replace them. I can't understand it at all. Where are all those graduates going?? Another problem i've noticed in the nursing field is call-ins. It seems anytime we are scheduled a full staff there will always be some call-ins (usually we can predict who it will be that calls in). I know nurses are exposed to all of illnesses, but i was surprised by how often they seem to be sick. I must have a very strong immune system (I'm thankful for that too), in the past 5 yrs i may have called in 3 times due to illness.

I really don't know what the problem is, but I agree there seems to be some kind of shortage in nurses smile.gif

Specializes in Psychiatric, Geriatric, Cardiac.

As we all are very much aware - there is a shortage of nurses. I don't think that the number of nursing schools is a problem, as it is the decreasing number of students going into nursing. A few years ago, it was very competitive to get into nursing school - GPAs were extremely important, as well as getting through our nursing department's interviews. However, as the number of applicants have decreased over the past couple of years, almost all students who have applied to the nursing program I attended have gotten in - despite mediocre GPAs. In fact, my program's slots were not entirely filled - only 68 students applied despite the 80 slots alloted per year. I'm not saying this is happening everywhere, but it is a problem nationwide. I was on the board of directors of my state's student nursing association from 1998-1999, where one of my main functions was membership recruitment and promoting the nursing profession to college students and upcoming high school grads. Believe me, getting people interested in the nursing profession was and still is a statewide challenge in NC. And by talking to other states' board members, it remains a challenge in many other states as well. Hopefully this nursing shortage won't last the next 8-10 years, as is being predicted - staff burnout, continued retirement of veteran nurses, an increasing elderly population, and effects of managed care are already taking a toll on us. Without a doubt, many nurses will not survive this shortage - they will punch out and find another profession. As for myself, I'm here for the long-term, so I hope that you will remain with me...keep your chins up, relish your time off, and most importantly, be professional and flexible! Thanks.

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