JMU expands nursing program to admit more students

Students working through a scenario in one of the school's simulations laboratories.
Students working through a scenario in one of the school's simulations laboratories.(WHSV)
Published: Oct. 14, 2019 at 5:53 PM EDT
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Starting in January 2020, James Madison University will be expanding its nursing program to admit 23 more students to the program each semester.

The school said most schools deal with the same issue each year. Schools tend to have more students apply than there are spots in the school and sometimes have to turn down qualified students.

The Virginia Board of Nursing also mandates student-faculty ratios, which limit the number of students nursing schools can admit.

"This will help us to bring in more qualified students, we currently can't take all of our qualified students," Melody Eaton, director for the School of Nursing, said. "It's very competitive and this will really aid in that effort."

Jamie Robinson, associate director of undergraduate programs in the JMU School of Nursing, said this will also help position more nurses in the workforce in rural areas.

Robinson said communities across the country are facing nursing shortages as veteran nurses retire or change careers.

She said many students work at hospitals even outside of Harrisonburg as a part of their program, such as Page Memorial Hospital. Robinson said many students who graduate from the program often stay in the Valley.

"Once they come to Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, often they fall in love with the area and end up staying in our local hospitals and working in the local clinics," Robinson said. :"So we're very fortunate to have students that are very dedicated to the community."

Each cohort will have 113 students admitted; in the past, it was set just at 90.