Schools attempt to increase interest in nursing degrees

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November 16th, 2010

The Augusta Chronicle reports that, due to a predicted shortage of nurses over the next few years, higher education institutions across the country are increasing their efforts to enroll more students in nursing programs.

This trend follows a joint statement released earlier this year by four national nursing organizations, which urged higher education institutions to avoid cutbacks to their nursing programs.

In response to the predicted shortage, the University of South Carolina Aiken raised about $3,300 for nursing scholarships, while University Health Care System hosted an information session and panel discussion on the future of nursing for high school and college students.

Experts believe that an economic rebound will prompt many nurses to retire or switch careers as financial security becomes less of a concern. However, healthcare reform and an aging baby boomer population will also contribute to the need for a larger workforce.

Dr Lucy Marion, dean of Medical College of Georgia’s School of Nursing, foresees a “major shortage” within five years. “We will be reaching crisis proportions again if our economy grows again as predicted, certainly within 10 years,” she added.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the amount of older individuals who will require the services of nurses to grow rapidly over the next several years.
 

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