Community colleges and four-year colleges across America are duking it out for market share of what is expected to be an increasingly lucrative nursing-school business as nurses play bigger roles in healthcare care.
The Wall Street Journal noted: “Leaders at community colleges, which now train nurses to the associate-degree level, argue they can help fill a hole in the nursing labor market at a low price. Administrators at four-year colleges counter that community colleges aren’t equipped to teach upper-level nursing courses and say there aren’t enough qualified faculty to go around.”
The four-year colleges are understandably worried about the competition from institutions that can charge lower tuitions.
The WSJ reported: “Bachelor’s degrees in nursing from community colleges would consist of the same number of credits as those at a four-year university, but they would likely appeal most to students who want to attend part time because they are already working in the field.”
“The debate comes amid long-term predictions of a shortage in nurses, as the U.S. population ages. Montana State University nursing economist Peter Buerhaus estimates a shortage of about 130,000 nurses nationwide by 2025, not as acute as once feared but still a significant staffing challenge.”