KSU works toward easing nation’s nursing shortage

Sara Bennett

Amid a national nursing shortage, Kent State’s accelerated second-degree nursing program is designed to get more nurses into the field as quickly as possible.

The newly updated program is designed for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and also want one in nursing, Curtis Good, director of student services of the College of Nursing, said.

Jamie Elberson, a student in the College of Nursing’s Summer 2007 accelerated program, said the guarantee of a job is why she entered the program.

“From what I’ve heard, there is such a shortage that we will have a job when we graduate,” she said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site, employment for nurses is expected to continue to increase by 27 percent or more in the next 10 years.

One contributing factor to the shortage is while more and more people are applying to nursing school, nursing schools are still turning applicants away, according to the American Nurses Association Web site.

Kent State’s College of Nursing is no different, but it is making improvements. In May, the program began accepting 20 students three times a year, Good said.

Even so, not every student makes it through the application process, he said.

“It’s a competitive admissions process,” Good said. “One of the reasons we are selective like that is because nursing school is pretty rigorous.”

He said the program is very condensed, making it difficult.

Mary Claire Williams, an accelerated nursing student, said the hours and the workload make it challenging.

“They’re trying to kill us,” Williams said jokingly. “I’m serious. I don’t think they realize there are only 24 hours in a day. I tell the teachers every day that I need time to eat and sleep.”

She said, however, the teachers are supportive.

Contact minority affairs, health, nursing and religion reporter Sara Bennett at