After increased national media attention on the shortage of nurses and more active recruiting from the University’s School of Nursing, enrollment went up 12 percent since last fall. But some students said they still believe many apply to the school as a back-door into the University.

Paul Wong
First-year Nursing student Jackie Ing enters the School of Nursing Building. Some students may use the nursing program as a means to transfer to LSA later.

Nursing sophomore Erin Tuttle said she is aware of students applying to the School of Nursing with the intention of transferring out of the the school and into other schools, like the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, after their first semester.

“Everyone knows that some people use the nursing school to get into other harder schools. There are many people that are serious about nursing, but I know some students that had no intention of staying in the school,” said Tuttle, a member of the Nursing Honors Program and Nursing Council.

An LSA sophomore, who requested to remain anonymous, transferred out of nursing into LSA this year. She said some students apply directly to the School of Nursing because they think it is easier to be admitted to than other schools.

“It’s so much easier to get into LSA when transferring from another school like nursing. I think the requirement is only a 3.0 GPA. I don’t even think they look at SAT scores. That’s why so many students do this,” she said.

Tuttle said last year about 20 to 30 students transferred out of her freshman class, many transferring into LSA. Admissions now require students to finish at least a semester before transferring.

“It gives us a bad name because some people are applying just to eventually transfer out,” Tuttle said.

“They leave thinking nursing is easy because the first year isn’t as intense. The standards might be lower to get in but the curriculum is tough,” Tuttle added.

Marketing and Recruiting Coordinator Monica Sullivan said the standards were not lowered for the School of Nursing to admit more students, but there were more applicants to the school.

“We think factors like more resources into direct recruiting and media attention to nurses at a national level has brought more students into the school of nursing. The message has gotten out with advertisements like Johnson’s and Johnson’s ‘Dare to Care’ campaign,” Sullivan said.

“We accepted more transfers into nursing then transfers out of the school,” Sullivan added.

Nursing senior Amy Hendriksma said there were more applicants this year because of the proposed bill to create a Michigan Nurse Scholarship which would award $3,000 to more than 1,000 students to cover tuition costs.

“People know they might be able to get scholarships and they are guaranteed jobs in nursing. If people transfer out it’s probably because they didn’t like their first year,” Hendriksma said.

But Nursing sophomore Vicky Hein, who plans to stay in nursing, said getting accepted in the School of Nursing is not as competitive as other schools like LSA.

“I knew my GPA wasn’t good enough to get in, but I went before the nursing review board and they accepted me,” Hein said.

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