NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Doctors and nurses have been pushed to the limit over the past months, but one school in Nashville has seen an uptick in nursing program enrollment. 

Linda D. Norman, dean at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, says they’re seeing an eight percent increase in applications for fall of 2021.

University officials admit they weren't sure how the pandemic would impact their next class of nurses.

Right now they're seeing more applicants who already have their bachelors in nursing and are coming back to be an advanced practice nurse.

The other place they’re seeing an increase is people who want a post-masters certificate.

"So they’re already an advanced-practice nurse and now they want to add something," Norman said. "Emergency nurse practitioner is one of those as well as psych nurse practitioner. That’s where we’re see a big increase.”

Along with the nursing school, Vanderbilt’s School of Medicine is also seeing an increase in applications for its fall 2021 class.

Norman says the university will meet with a group of researchers who look at the nursing workforce about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on interest in nursing. 

She said they're seeing more applicants talk about the pandemic in their applications. 

Experts say if the applications are any indication, what they're seeing is an increased interest in nursing.

"Our questions are 'has it enhanced people’s interests in nursing?' or when you see all the faces of people who are tired and you see the frustration that they have - 'is it a negative impact?' Norman said. "I think there’s going to be some research that’s going to be done."

Dean Norman says its an important time in healthcare and important time for nurses to be recognized for their contribution, whether in or out of COVID units.

 
 

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