MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY (WCBI) – When you’re in need of medical care, the attention received from the nursing staff is vital for the patient’s recovery and comfort. But a recent government study says the demand for registered nurses is so high that a workforce shortage is certain in the next ten years.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that by 2020 there will be an additional 1.2 million nursing jobs available. That’s good news for the struggling job market but students are also struggling to get accepted into nursing programs. Nursing programs around the nation don’t have enough instructors, clinical sites, classroom space or funding to admit more students. This creates a more competitive admission process that leaves some nursing school candidates behind.
MSU Pre-Nursing Advisor Mary Celeste Reese explains, “Because there are so few spots, nursing schools are able to pick the cream of the crop. They’re able to pick the best students whereas in the past, a 2.5 gpa and a minimum of a 21 ACT would get you into nursing school. That’s no longer the case.”
Last year, U.S. nursing schools rejected 75,000 qualified applicants. Reese says that the University of Mississippi Medical Center is gradually increasing its enrollment to help meet the demand.