Nursing programs in the United States are very difficult to get accepted into and that is why there is a shortage of nurses. It is important to be aware of this issue because having a shortage of nurses affects patients’ health and nurses are asked to work overtime. Most people are not aware that this is an issue and those who are aware understand that it needs to be dealt with. The majority do not understand that having a shortage of nurses has effects on the nurses and the patients. Nurses must work overtime and take care of multiple patients. They receive health problems and exhaustion. It also affects their patients because nurses have to be moving around checking on multiple patients to make sure they are getting the medical help they need and their exhaustion can cause them to focus less on their job.
Applying to the nursing program needs many requirements and trying to get accepted is very difficult. You need to take prerequisites, maintain a gpa higher than 3.0, take an exam, and have some experience in the medical field. Then you play the waiting game because it takes a year to find out if you are accepted into the program or not. Girard states, “…number of qualified applicants far exceeds the number of spaces available in nursing programs [and] institutions may be highly selective in deciding whom to admit” (Girard, Samantha 2015). Therefore, many people apply to nursing programs with all the requirements, but it is very competitive that not all are accepted due to the limited open spaces. According to Fox and Abrahamson, “In 2005–2006 academic year, at least 41,683 qualified applicants were turned away from baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs” (Fox and Abrahamson 2009). Those statistics show that many people who are qualified are willing to become nurses with a degree higher than an Associates, but are denied. Another reason why there’s a shortage of nurses is because of the “…limited amount of resources available to train nurses to meet the additional demand” (Business Wire). Due to that reason the Tenet Hospitals gave the Nova Southeastern University a $341,050 two-year grant to help train more nurses to keep their hospitals from having a shortage of nurses and to keep them from working more than they can handle. If the United States is willing to help nursing programs expand then it would help stop the shortage of nurses.
Denying the acceptance of applicants who are wanting to pursue a career in this field is a problem. Only accepting a certain amount of people into the programs stops us from ending the shortage of nurses. Denying most applicants means having, “nearly half of RN’s [to be] over age fifty by 2010…” (Fox and Abrahamson 2009). If you pay close attention you’ll see that most nurses are a lot older because they have been working for many years and now it is difficult to get accepted into nursing programs. We have a huge shortage of nurses across this country in hospitals, yet we are still denying most people from entering the nursing program.
If we do not do something about the acceptance rate in nursing programs then we will continue having a shortage of nurses across the country. Expanding nursing programs would require more resources to train those who want to be nurses. Money and energy would be required in order to get the resources we need to expand the nursing programs. In the case of having a shortage of nurses, “Nurse vacancy rates are estimated to reach 1-million by the year 2020” (Girard, Samantha 2015). If we do not do something about the nursing programs then predictions like these will become a reality even though there are many qualified applicants out there. We cannot move on with dealing with this issue if we are not willing to expand nursing programs. Expanding nursing programs, willing to accept more into these programs, and getting more resources to expand the programs will be a huge step further.