In Portland, one nursing school had over 1,000 applications for their nursing program that had only 140 openings this year.
This is making for a very difficult situation in Portland, where the University of Portland is accepting only 1 in every 4 applications. Nursing schools can be very competitive, and nursing schools like this one are only accepting the best of the best into their program. Students who successfully entered the program have had superior high school GPAs and are bi-lingual or multi-lingual, making the competition steep for average students who want to enter the field.
All of the talk in the nation about nursing shortages seems to be working to stimulate the demand for a nursing education, but schools are having a tough time keeping up with the new demand. Another college in Vancouver has a similar issue, sorting through nearly 200 applications for their nursing school program that only has room for 48 new students.
The problem with nursing school admissions falls back on that nursing shortage, however. With too few qualified nurses, health care facilities will see a nursing shortage that only increases over the next decade; as expected. What many students perhaps were not expecting is that the nursing shortage applies to all fields of nursing – including nurse educators. When there is a shortage of programs, schools, and educators, it becomes increasingly difficult for schools to allow more students into their nursing programs and without more qualified programs graduating nurses, there are not enough qualified educators.
While there are many federal initiatives working to find a solution to this redundant problem, it will remain exceedingly difficult to gain access to nursing programs at the top schools in the nation in the mean time.