Despite a mounting need for nurses across Arizona, proposed plans to slash higher education budgets could force many of the state’s universities to downsize their nursing programs, the East Valley Tribune reports.
According to the Tribune, nursing programs in Arizona are particularly expensive because state law requires schools to have one professor for every 10 nursing students. By contrast, other educational programs can have as many as 20 to 30 students per professor.
To offset the proposed budget cuts, Arizona State University, which runs the state’s largest nursing program, has already announced it will cut 80 spots from its incoming nursing class, reversing progress over the last five years to expand the program by 40%. Meanwhile, officials at Northern Arizona University are exploring ways to make budget cuts without lowering enrollment.
To ensure a continuous supply of new nursing talent, the state’s private and community colleges are expected to begin filling the enrollment gap. Many hospitals and health systems also are pressing forward with efforts to expand the nursing pipeline. Scottsdale Healthcare, for example, collaborated with Scottsdale Community College to allow students to gain clinical training at the system’s hospitals. In addition, Banner Health has partnered with five local community colleges in Maricopa County to launch a nursing fellowship program that pays for students’ education in exchange for a three-year work commitment.(source)
Many qualified students are turned away each year
American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
American Student Dental Association (ASDA)