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Health Majors on the Rise – Nursing Students are Taking Over!

The House Fiscal Agency published a new report that says that health related majors are on the rise in public universities. It seems that the word is getting out that there is a nursing shortage and now is the time to look into a nursing program.

In the South Bend Tribune, reporter Yanan Chen comments that, “During the past six years, the number of undergraduate students in Michigan’s 15 public universities who earned bachelor’s degrees in engineering majors dropped 4.4 percent… At the same time, the number in health-related majors increased 76 percent.”

The House Fiscal Agency is non-partisan and advises the House on budget and tax issues. With this report, the agency discovered that business is the top growing major while health related majors come in a close second. As such, the government acknowledges a need to help nursing students pursue their degrees in order to prevent a possible crisis stemming from a nursing shortage which is currently pending.

“As for growing enrollment in health-related majors,” Mary Alkire, interim director of school of nursing at Ferris State University, said, “We have 64 undergraduate applications but we only can only accept 32 students…This trend shows students’ interests in nursing programs,” she said. “And the other reason is that some countries have a shortage of nurses and they have great demand on them now and in the future.”

There are several other reasons why the number of students is increasing to pursue a career in the medical field. First of all, many of the current nurses are reaching retirement age. It is projected that in 10 years, 50 percent of the current nurses will be of retirement age. Secondly, Baby Boomers are aging and this large portion of our population is going to cause a higher demand for workers in nursing homes, home care and other areas for specialized care. Finally, Jeanette Klemczak, the chief nurse executive for the Department of Community Health comments that, “even the younger citizens are not very healthy. Some citizens have Type 2 diabetes as young as in kindergarten.”

It also seems that health care is a very accessible field. The opportunities for a degree or certification in an online nursing school are readily available, people will always be in need of health care, and no matter where you live, there are health care facilities.

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