Nursing schools forced to turn away some students

Gannett News Service 

As the shortage of nurses threatens to reach crisis proportions, more people are willing to enter the demanding but recession-proof career. So why are nursing schools turning away record numbers?

“We don’t have enough faculty and we don’t have enough physical space,” said Kathleen Dirschel, dean of the Cochran School of Nursing in Yonkers, N.Y.

Although enrollment rose 5 percent at nursing bachelor’s degree programs across the country, there were still more than 40,000 qualified nursing student applicants turned away in 2007, according to figures from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

In the next decade, the need for nursing faculty will only grow as many baby boomers retire.

The average age of a U.S. nurse with a doctorate degree — needed to become a tenured professor — is 59. The average retirement age is 62, AACN reported.


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