Nursing Degrees Are Getting Harder To Obtain Every Year

Earning nursing degrees is far from being easy. For one thing, admission to nursing schools and programs has always been competitive, but in the past ten years or so it has gotten much more so. There are a few reasons for this. One of the biggest ones is that America is experiencing a severe shortage of nurses.

Currently there are a couple hundred thousand more nursing job openings than qualified nurses to fill them. Another reason is that this current shortage is only the tip of the iceberg. Older people are the biggest users of health care, by far, and America's population is rapidly aging. Every day, from now to around 2025$2C ten thousand "Baby Boomers" will move into retirement age every single day. This will add a staggering burden to our healthcare system. Seeing this, many people see nursing as a job offering tremendous financial security (and they're right). Third, the current recession means many people have lost jobs and are looking for training in an area where they'll have no trouble finding a job. Nursing fills that bill nicely.

All of this adds up to the perfect storm when it comes to nursing school admissions; it's always been tough to get into nursing school, it's been getting tougher for the last ten years, and it's only going to get more and more difficult for the foreseeable future. Part of the blame also lies with government, at both the state and federal level. These entities knew decades ago that the huge wave of Baby Boomer retirements would lead to a massive burden on our nation's health care system, and would require many more trained health professionals to deal with, and they knew exactly when it would happen, yet they've done little or nothing to address the problem. Government should have gone about funding the creation of many more nursing programs and medical schools to gear up to meet these shortages, but they didn't. Now it's a bit too late to start addressing the problem, as it takes years and years to commission, design, build, fund, accredit and staff such schools and programs.

Does this mean that you can't get into nursing schools unless you're a member of Phi Beta Kappa? No; not at all. So don't despair; while nursing schools admissions are competitive, they're not exactly cutthroat yet, or at the level of schools like Harvard and Yale. There's no denying that nursing degrees are getting harder to obtain every year, but a person who applies today, who has a good high school GPA, a high score on the SAT or ACT, strong references, and the ability to write a powerful college admissions essay has a very good chance of winning admission to a nursing program. But it can't be stressed enough that anyone interested in becoming a nurse should apply as soon as possible, because every year in the future they will be competing against even more people seeking nursing degrees.

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