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The Pandemic Led to an Increase in Nursing School Enrollment

By Nicolas Rontanini

When the pandemic first began, life as we know it effectively changed. From schooling and job applications, the world had to learn how to adapt to an online environment. Instead of a classroom, students instead attended a class through Zoom. People had job interviews and the job itself through Zoom.

Covid had several negative effects on students, especially nursing students. They were unable to perform their necessary training in person due to pandemic restrictions. Yet nursing school enrollment has actually increased. Since Covid led to an increase in the need for nurses, many students have found a passion and availability for the profession.

Since Covid hit, sickening 157 million people worldwide and causing 3.27 million to die, people in several schools have wanted a chance to fight back. When people are stuck at home and lack the ability to go out and help, nursing becomes an enticing alternative. It provides an opportunity to make a difference, one that the pandemic effectively limited. By seeing clear visibility of nurses on the front lines all throughout the pandemic, many would likely be inspired to pursue it. With this, it makes sense that some people would want to give back and that enrolling in a nursing program would be the way to do so. We see this happening in many schools, including here at Adelphi.

According to Stephanie Espina, who works in admissions for the nursing school, interest in the program—and resulting applications—has been received in a steady flow. As of now, more enrollment deposits are coming in than this time last year, though that was due mainly to disruptions caused by the onset of the pandemic. The school’s trend seems to be more in line with two years ago, during more normal operations. There has also been an increase in applications for the 14-month accelerated program that starts in the summer 2021, for adult students looking for a career change. Alongside this, there is a slight increase in applications for transfer students, but pacing consistently for enrollment deposits.

While students faced many negatives during the pandemic, nursing students were given a career path that could prove fruitful. Especially now, nursing has proven to be a good field to enter. The Bureau of Labor Statistics even announced that the demand for nurses caused by Covid rose to 7 percent, as opposed to the 3 percent for other occupations. Even before Covid, there was always a high demand for nurses. With the pandemic, that demand has steadily increased. Hospitals are admitting more patients daily, and some hospitals have had to deal with staff shortages and quarantine requirements.

Despite the negatives, this is a good thing. With almost everything going remote, and few in-person opportunities available, finding your passion was made even harder. The pandemic has been very draining; this I can attest to. When you feel drained, it’s difficult to find what excites and motivates you. But for many, nursing has filled that gap. More than likely, these positions would be in person, but there has been a room for opportunity. Some nurses even set up telehealth calls for patients, and Adelphi’s nursing program has now added this skill development to the graduate nursing curriculum.

As it is, nursing is likely one of the most sought after professions as of now. With nurses in seemingly endless demand, finding work might not be extensively challenging after graduation. It is still important to note, however, that safety is a very large part of it. But I have confidence in the Adelphi minds that will soon enter the field.

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