Nurses are leaving in droves, while schools are reporting higher enrollment in programs.
Nurses around the United States who have been burned out by the COVID-19 pandemic are quitting their jobs or leaving hospitals for higher-paying traveling nurse employment, but nursing schools report greater enrolment.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, enrolment in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs in the United States climbed by 5.6 percent to just over 250,000 students in 2020, compared to the previous year.
The burden for both nurses and students can be excessive, according to Emma Champlin, a first-year nursing student at Fresno State who is now performing clinical investigations in a COVID-19 ward.
“I’m not sure when it’ll stop,” she remarked. “Is this going to be the new normal? I suppose the fear factor has worn off at this point, and we’re all simply tired.” Even for nursing students, the COVID-19 virus strain “has made me doubt, at times, my chosen decision,” Champlain said. See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Although figures for the current academic year (2021–2022) will not be available until January, authorities believe interest has remained high.
This fall, the University of Michigan nursing school had over 1,800 applications for 150 freshman places, compared to approximately 1,200 in 2019.
Despite her concerns that COVID-19 would deter students, Marie Nolan, executive vice dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, said the school has experienced its highest number of applicants ever, with many of them applying even before a vaccination was available.
During the epidemic, students at those and other schools gained important hands-on experience with COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, as well as participating at community vaccination clinics.
“We’ve told the students, ‘This is a once-in-a-lifetime professional chance,'” Nolan said.
Champlain, like many of her peers, saw the epidemic as an opportunity to acquire and practice critical-care skills. “The notion of catching the virus didn’t terrify me,” she added, adding that she is young and her immune system is fine. “It’s just time for us to step up and give it our best, to figure out how we can help, because a new generation has to emerge, and that generation has to be us,” the 21-year-old says. This is a condensed version of the information.