Colleges offer a multitude of majors each varying in classes required.
While every major has requirements, the nursing program proves to be unique as it goes a step beyond just passing classes.
Nursing students must put in the majority of their time and effort into college with the cost of failure being waitlisted a whole year or being kicked out of the program completely. Kelly Rush, a registered nurse and office manager of the cardiovascular wing at Mosaic stated her thoughts on the difficulties of nursing programs.
“You know we're dealing with people's lives, so I see why the best of the best should be accepted, and that the field itself shouldn't be taken lightly," Rush said.
Before being able to worry about the program itself, nursing students must first accomplish the daunting task of getting accepted. Some of the requirements for admission include maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.7, completing general studies, submitting unofficial transcripts and writing a personal essay.
Sophomore Kaylie Etherton was recently accepted into the nursing program with hopes of working in a cardiovascular or delivery wing. Etherton said it takes a special kind of person to even make it into the program.
“I know a lot of people who switched their major because they didn't get accepted into the nursing program,” Etherton said. “It's scary, and a lot of the people that didn't get in had Bs, because there's so many other people.”
Once in the program students are required to complete 61 hours of nursing courses. There are also 33 hours of prerequisite courses outside of general studies that must be completed before majors courses are started. After these requirements are met the students must take an exam to get their registered nursing license.
Despite the program itself being difficult to enter, the field does have a large demand for more nurses.
Stephanie Stewart completed Missouri Westerns nursing program, then went on to earn her masters at the University of Phoenix. After working in the nursing field for a time, Stewart returned to the college as an instructor for the past seven years. Stewart said she feels Missouri Westerns smaller student size leads to its 100% placement in the field.
“We get to know our students and so I think that is very beneficial for the students, Stewart said. "We tend to look at the student as a whole, not just academically but what else is going on in their lives. We can help find resources for them, because that's what we do. That's our core being is to help people. So I think that provides a great opportunity and great learning.”
Despite a shortage of nurses, and the popularity of the major, not just anyone can make the cut. Nursing students have to overcome the many obstacles the program has, all while keeping their personal lives balanced. Spending thousands on schooling and giving up years of their time, these students sacrifice all they have with the end goal of spending their lives helping others.
Corrections: A previous version of this story incorrectly said that over 300 students were in the current applicant pool for the fall 2020 cohort. The size of the applicant pool was not publicized and was less than 80. It also incorrectly said that applicants who did not get accepted are placed on a waitlist. The program does place some students on an alternate list that is used to fill seats from the pool of accepted applicants if there are empty slots left. The majors course requirements for the nursing program total 61 hours instead of 55. There are 32-33 hours of required prerequisite courses that are not optional. The total number of hours in the program, including prerequisite courses and nursing courses, is 93-94.