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A nursing shortage has existed for some time now and it’s not just impacting Utah. Anticipating a growing problem, organizations like the Salt Lake Chamber are calling for expanded opportunities in nursing education.

As today’s workforce retires, and with the ever-aging population in need of top quality healthcare, the need for nurses in the United States is projected to increase significantly by 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In spite of the demand, nursing schools turned away more than 56,000 qualified applicants in 2017 alone. Compare that to the annual average rejection of qualified applicants at 30,000 just a decade earlier and it is clear that this is an escalating issue, according to a CNN report.

Why would schools turn away thousands of qualified applicants when there is a substantial need for nursing graduates?

A series of factors come into play, explains the CNN report.

Currently, there are about 3 million nurses in the United States, but the nation will need to produce more than 1 million new registered nurses by 2022 to fulfill its healthcare needs. Because of this projected shortage, there is a tremendous demand from hospitals and clinics to hire nurses — so much, in fact, that many institutions have begun offering big bonuses, free housing and tuition to recruit top talent. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough space in nursing programs to begin with.

According to CNNMoney, with an increased interest in this in-demand profession, nursing programs are struggling to expand class sizes in order to accept new students. To expand the number of registered students a program can support, nursing programs need more qualified instructors to teach its courses.

Appealing to qualified candidates proven to be a tough task, however, as the average salary of a nursing school assistant professor is $78,575 compared to that of a nurse practitioner with an average annual salary of $97,000.

However, it is not just a shortage of qualified instructors. Physical class sizes for clinical training has struggled to remain sufficient enough to hold a larger group of students. In fact, the article cnotes the Michigan Board of Nursing recently shrunk the student-to-faculty ratio in order to improve safety and avoid an overcrowded clinical setting.

To improve admission rates, nursing programs are expanding to new campuses, partnering with hospitals, and offering bridge programs are just a few of the ways these schools are responded to this ever-increasing demand.

One solution

Don’t let a surge in rejection letters prevent you from applying to Eagle Gate College. With our nation’s depleting healthcare workforce and an increased demand for newly graduated nurses, now really is the best time to start your nursing degree.

At Eagle Gate College, there are no waitlists or pre-requisite requirements to start your nursing program. Our accelerated curriculum helps students get their BSN in as little as 36 months with a CCNE accredited nursing program. With hybrid-format classes and with many programs offered online, we’re able to accommodate more students in our programs. Eagle Gate also offers flexible class schedules, designed with working adults in mind, making it easier to complete a degree while continuing to fulfill daily responsibilities.

If you seek a promising career in a rapidly expanding field, contact Eagle Gate College today. Our friendly and helpful student-centered admissions representatives will help you get started on your path to a new healthcare career with a program that works for you.