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Amid nationwide rush to join nursing field, Louisville colleges hold steady with enrollment

The pandemic is not putting a damper on those wanting to join the healthcare industry.
The pandemic is not putting a damper on those wanting to join the healthcare industry.(KBTX)
Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 6:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - People have become more interested in nursing since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Across the United States, enrollment in nursing programs increased in 2020, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The study looked at 956 schools in the U.S. and found enrollment in nursing programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels is growing despite the pandemic.

While research is pointing to a national trend, some of WAVE Country’s nursing programs’ enrollment numbers are holding steady.

Galen College of Nursing, Bellarmine University, and UofL representatives told WAVE 3 News right now, they are not seeing that upward enrollment trend but added they are seeing a steady flow of those interested in entering the nursing field.

A student at Galen College of Nursing in Louisville, Christy Chism, said the COVID-19 pandemic fueled her passion for the industry. Her graduation is now just five days away.

“There is a whole new group of people coming to hopefully provide some relief,” Chism said.

She said she has already been picked up by Baptist Health East, where she will practice as a registered nurse.

“I knew that there was a need for nurses out there,” Chism said. “The nurses that were in the field battling COVID on the daily, they were getting tired.”

During the pandemic, she said her class got a chance to volunteer at Broadbent Arena when it was the mass vaccination site.

“It was amazing just seeing people so excited to receive their COVID vaccination that makes such a huge difference,” Chism said.

Chism said she has noticed a steady influx of new people coming into her school ready to take on the healthcare system.

“When you know your calling and you feel your calling, you go for it,” Chism said.

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