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Nursing schools see applications rise, despite COVID burnout

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Nurses

STORRS, Conn. (AP) - Nurses around the U.S. are getting burned out by the COVID-19 crisis and quitting, yet applications to nursing schools are rising, driven by what educators say are young people who see the global emergency as an opportunity and a challenge.  

Nationally, enrollment in bachelor's, master's and doctoral nursing programs increased 5.6% in 2020 from the year before to just over 250,000 students, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The higher enrollment could help ease a nursing shortage that existed even before COVID-19.

But the increase, combined with the departure of too many experienced nurses whose job is to help train students, has left many nursing programs without the ability to expand.