Enrollments Can’t Fill the Void

 In Nurses Weekly

As more nurses leave the medical field because they are burned out from the pandemic, a new generation is getting ready to fill their shoes. But experts say a new graduating class is not enough.

“Last year at the height of the pandemic, applications of the school of nursing for undergrad—people wanting to become nurses—was up 25%,” says Linda Flynn, dean of Rutgers University School of Nursing. “And this year it’s up another 12% from that.”

But even with the increased interest, Flynn says that it can’t fill the void left by many nurses retiring or leaving the field.

“The amount of illness and, unfortunately, loss of life that the nurses have witnessed over the last year and a half, it has been substantial. More than what most nurses see in a lifetime,” says Flynn.

Flynn says that fresh nurses are much needed in the coming years.

“New Jersey is running a vacancy rate of about 11% and so that’s about 11,000 nurses, and New Jersey as a state produces about 3,000 new graduates a year,” says Flynn. “So, when you add the retirements that are expected over the next eight to 10 years to that, we’re not catching up.”

Stockton University is also looking to fill the need for nurses. The school announced on Tuesday that it is expanding the accelerated BSN program in Manahawkin by adding a spring cohort for the first time. This program begins in January.

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