BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Since the onset of the pandemic, local nursing schools Trocaire College and D'Youville College are among some schools reporting a large increase in nursing and health care students - following a national trend.
Enrollment in all nursing programs (including bachelor's, master's, and others) increased 5.6% in 2020.
In Western New York, those numbers were dramatically higher.
"This is a scary time for a lot of people, so we are going into the health care field - stealing that fear and turning it into hope," said Connor Harasimowicz, a second year nursing student at the Niagara County Community College's nursing program.
Niagara County Community College reported a spike in applications in 2020, even though their program requires a hard cap at 220 students due to clinical space. Connor, among nearly 200 others, are set to graduate in May.
At Trocaire College, the admissions department reported
- (2020) - 1487 inquiries and 1102 applications for Nursing (RN) combined fall and spring semesters.
- (2021) - 1774 inquiries (a 19% increase over last year) and 1447 applications (31% increase over last year) for Nursing (RN) combined fall and spring semesters.
- In addition, they reported that the large majority of these applicants are current professionals looking to re-route their career, with an average age of around 29 years old.
- They also will be graduating about 150 nurses who will slide directly into the active workforce both in December and May.
At D'Youville College, the admissions department reported similar spikes, including a 57% increase in enrollment in nursing programs over the last few years.
If you are interested in the medical field, all schools are continuing their open application process despite the uptick.