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Otterbein's nursing program sees an increase in applicants

Despite a nurse shortage in hospitals, over 150 students applied to Otterbein's nursing program this year

The Otterbein Nursing Department has been impacted by nurses deciding to work in schools rather than hospitals. 

NPR published an article stating “Health care workers are burnt out. Across the country, hospitals are so desperate for nurses that they are hiring students before they even graduate. And this shortage of nurses is especially dire when it comes to acute care. Meanwhile, becoming a nurse has become more difficult.”

Covid-19 has negatively impacted many nurses, leaving them to get out of the hospitals or get out of nursing completely and change careers. 

Otterbein nursing professor John Chovan states that about 120 nursing students apply to the nursing program; however, this year there are over 150 applicants. 

“There are more applicants for the Otterbein Nursing Department, there are still only 82 applicants accepted into the program, this is going to make the acceptance into the program more competitive,” said Chovan. 

“Although the shortage of nurses isn't a good thing, it feels good to have reassurance that the career I chose is needed and really impacts people; and I hopefully won't run into much difficulty finding a nursing job after graduation,” said Judy Zang, a junior nursing major. 

The shortage of nurses has also made an impact on the placement of students to get their required clinical hours. 

“Clinical partners are getting really strict with COVID-19 vaccinations, and they are also being very strict on who can come into the hospitals,  because the nurses are leaving the placements to be lost,” said Chovan. 

Spring semester is primarily for seniors to shadow the nurse they are assigned to for the entire semester. They are required to be there twice a week with the same nurse. 

“I would say the only time I'm affected is when I am at clinical. This is when I see there is a shortage the most. The nurses are getting assigned more patients than usual and working more hours too,” said Zang. 

In spite of the fact that this nursing shortage has negatively impacted the hospitals, it has helped the admission for the nursing department here at Otterbein. 

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