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Archive for Friday, April 23, 2010

More applicants competing for fewer spots in KU’s nursing school

KU student Katie Summers has been accepted into nursing school, an increasingly difficult feat. Good grades, leadership and health care experience are all required as the competition for available student seats intensifies.

KU student Katie Summers has been accepted into nursing school, an increasingly difficult feat. Good grades, leadership and health care experience are all required as the competition for available student seats intensifies.

April 23, 2010

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As applicants line up to get into Kansas University’s School of Nursing, they’ll be facing an increasingly tough road, thanks to state budget cuts.

Of 591 applicants to the school this year, only 104 will be admitted. That’s down from 120 a year ago and 128 the year before that, said Cynthia Schudel, an adviser for pre-nursing students.

The number of students has been scaled back because of accreditation rules regulating student-to-faculty ratios. As state budget cuts reduce the number of faculty members on campus, KU Medical Center must adjust its student population accordingly.

Schudel said the entrance requirements are getting more stringent — the average grade point average of an admitted student this year was 3.7. Students must also demonstrate experience in the health care field and leadership skills. The requirements leave many qualified students on the outside looking in, Schudel said.

“They may be people who maybe struggled a little bit their first couple of semesters,” Schudel said. “You can be a very solid student who struggled early.”

In this more difficult environment, those students are more likely to find themselves with a rejection letter. Schudel stressed that she still encourages students with lower GPAs to apply, because they can make up for it with high achievement in other areas. Still, stress is high, and Schudel said she’s had to calm students who call her after receiving their first B in college.

One person who was well aware of the fewer slots available for new students was KU junior Katie Summers, from Tulsa, Okla. She’ll be one of the 104 new students attending KU’s nursing school next year, but she said it was no guarantee.

Even while earning a GPA above the average for new admissions, being the vice president of the KU Pre-Nursing Club and spending more than 150 hours volunteering in the emergency room at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Summers said she still was anxious about getting in.

“I didn’t know how everything weighed,” Summers said. “Leadership, grades, extracurriculars. I didn’t know if I overlooked one area.”

Rita Clifford, KU associate nursing dean for student affairs, watches state and national trends on the current nursing shortage. As baby boomers prepare to retire, the shortage will grow, she said.

“I think there’s no question that the nursing shortage is going to continue at a very high rate in the future,” she said.

And, she said, one area that’s often overlooked is a lack of trained nursing faculty to help teach the nurses not only at KU, but at the other nursing schools around the region. KU’s graduate enrollments are suffering too, Clifford said.

It all adds up to a lot of stress for applicants, as those Cs and Ds in science courses begin to stick out a little more than they used to.

“I would love to see everybody who wants to become a nurse become a nurse, because we really need nurses,” Schudel said. “But for some, maybe now’s not the right time for them to be a nurse.”

Comments

KU_cynic 4 years, 8 months ago

Message to KU administrators: Prioritize!

KU spends a ton of money educating marginally qualified and difficult to place graduate students in the social sciences and humanities. Cut back there and shift resoruces to valued fields like nursing!

Graczyk 4 years, 8 months ago

What is a marginally qualified graduate student. Can you define?

KU_cynic 4 years, 8 months ago

Marginally qualified graduate student: mediocre GRE scores, mediocre undergraduate GPA, and value-added post-graduate degree placement prospects negligible.

KU pumps out lots of them.

Eride 4 years, 8 months ago

"It all adds up to a lot of stress for applicants, as those Cs and Ds in science courses begin to stick out a little more than they used to."

I don't really think someone who got a bunch of Cs and Ds in science classes should be in nursing school to begin with... ever.

llama726 4 years, 8 months ago

How many are graduated statewide? Do you even know anything about nursing students and what they go through? My girlfriend is worried about not getting into program and she has well above a 3.0 GPA (already has a Bachelor's in Political Science and another in Psychology), tons of volunteering, work experience, extracurriculars, and other experience, along with a good science background and knowledge. Stop reveling in this. It's a mistake. KU serves KANSAS, not Kansas City, and there's not even a guarantee that nurses stay in the area. If there is a nursing shortage, we need more nurses. The person talking about C's and D's is obviously uninformed as very few nursing students with C's and D's could even be considered in most programs - AT ALL - most require a 3.0 in your science classes to even be considered!

I'm glad you're happy they are cutting back on nursing students. I hope they cut back on teaching students too. Maybe we can finally get to a more efficient 50 students per classroom on the elementary school level. That'd be great!

parrothead8 4 years, 8 months ago

With nurses like Katie Summers, I wouldn't even mind going to the hospital.

seriouscat 4 years, 8 months ago

Yeah she is stunning! She looks like she's on the cover of a magazine.

ku12345 4 years, 8 months ago

Myself being a nursing student it is incredibly hard to get into nursing. I have about a 3.2 with plenty of volunteer hours and extracircular activites. It is still difficult to show that you deserve and are very serious about what you want to do with the rest of your life. I agree I think they should make it harder to get into the nursing schools, however dropping back the admittance from about 250 students in the last few years is a bit crazy. What about the other schools, many of the schools allow people to go further with their degrees when they maybe have a 2.5...such as the school of education. Why is it that we are allowing future teachers in with that low gpa? And to the person that says that 1000 nurses in Kansas City, do you have any idea how many nurses work in one hospitals, plus home health, clinics, nursing homes, ect? And not to mention I very seriously doubt that all students that graduate stay in the state of Kansas.

llama726 4 years, 8 months ago

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos083.htm#outlook

" Overall job opportunities are expected to be excellent for registered nurses. Employers in some parts of the country and in certain employment settings report difficulty in attracting and retaining an adequate number of RNs, primarily because of an aging RN workforce and a lack of younger workers to fill positions. Qualified applicants to nursing schools are being turned away because of a shortage of nursing faculty."

ku12345 4 years, 8 months ago

the nursing shortage is not just in this area.

ku12345 4 years, 8 months ago

the nursing shortage is not just in this area.

ku12345 4 years, 8 months ago

the nursing shortage is not just in this area.

llama726 4 years, 8 months ago

What do you do? What qualifications do you have to do it? How much did you pay for those qualifications?

yankeevet 4 years, 8 months ago

What is the starting pay for a nurse?

Christine Anderson 4 years, 8 months ago

Man, I am sooo glad I'm out of that mess! I did have the grades. The pay is nice, but the burnout is not worth it!

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