Decades of worry over the nursing shortage has only heightened during the pandemic—too few nurses have been graduating for years, and now departures (most often for retirement but also to other fields) have accelerated. Simultaneously, qualified students are turned away from nursing programs every year given capacity limitations. In 2020, over 80,000 qualified nursing school applications were rejected.
Academic leaders recognize the need for nursing education but encounter three challenges:
- The nursing shortage extends to nursing faculty, with too few instructors available to educate future nurses.
- Highly competitive clinical placements are required for graduation and licensure; however, these are hard to come by.
- Nursing is a complex field with a range of educational levels and needs, risking schools targeting the wrong opportunity for their service area.
In a June 2022 webinar, Expanding Capacity to Educate Nurses Amid Shortages and COVID-19, EAB dug into the labor market data, reviewed the literature, and talked with successful programs to identify how schools can launch and expand nursing programs. Explore the takeaways from the event and review the next steps.