Is our nursing program in need of serious expansion?

Sarah Becraft

In an ideal world all academic programs would be fully funded and able to cover every qualified person that applies, but many programs in reality are less than adequately funded. All college students have some experience with this problem in college, and one of the most difficult areas is nursing programs.

Expanding the nursing program to accept more students is an ideal solution, but considering the costs for allowing even just a few more students in a field where technology and treatment is moving so fast, I would rather it go toward improving the training and keeping it up to date as well as getting more current students though the program.

California is one of many states with an impacted nursing program, and reading up on it from other states like Florida implies that increasing the school programs for even roughly twenty students would be about $250,000, and that doesn’t account for California costs.

Considering the costs of California are higher, that amount would go up substantially. To increase funds for expanding how many nurses can go into our nursing program to an extent that would begin to touch on the nursing shortage we face would be immense, it makes more sense to use funding to improve the training within the nursing program so that more nurses graduate and have better, more up-to-date training instead of admitting more people. This applies even more to an individual college than the state-wide nursing level, since it impacts the overall nurse shortage even less.

It could cost less to get more current students what they need to graduate than it would to just stick as much money as it takes to allow nursing programs at Saddleback College, or even state-wide, to a point where future nursing needs are filled.

It is not a question of whether or not the nursing program would in a best-case scenario increase to include many more applicants than it currently has, long shifts and other problems are wide-spread in the world of nurse training.

The question is how we improve the nursing program college-wide and state-wide in a way that is both cost effective and addresses not just the needs or wants of applicants, but the actual nursing shortage. Something funding for more students to be accepted into our nursing program won’t accomplish on less than a massive scale.