Texas Helps Nursing Schools Increase Enrollments

Many nursing schools in Texas have responded to the critical shortage of nurses by increasing enrollments. Even so there are not enough people entering the field. Rod Rice reports that a new state law aims to improve the Professional Nursing Shortage Reduction Program.

The way education is funded in Texas is usually after the fact.  If classes increase money from the state comes up to two years later.  Dr. Patricia Starck, Dean of the School of Nursing at UT Health Science Center at Houston says the new law for nursing schools changes that to help nursing classes grow.

"In order to increase enrollment you need to hire the faculty at the same time you admit the students.  This bill is going to give us advance money so that we can hire the faculty which is going to allow us to increase the number of students we admit."

The new law also includes accountability.

"If we say, for instance, that we're going to admit 30 additional students and we end up only admitting 20 additional students, then we have to give money back."

Nursing schools in Texas have increased enrollments about 70% since 2001, but that is still not enough to end the shortage.  The goal is for schools to quadruple enrollments by 2020.
 

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...