CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -The University of Virginia School of Nursing says the program saw a significant increase in applicants this year. That, while a student group is seeking to increase the amount of diversity in years to come.
Applications for the School of Nursing are up more than 51% from last year and the school says the class enrolling this fall will be the most diverse nursing class ever.
“Last year they were a little over 1,200 and this year they’re over 1,900 and that’s very exciting to us,” UVA’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Director Tomeka Dowling said.
Dowling said the reasons for the spike vary. In addition to being inspired by front line hospital employees, applicants no longer had to take a standardized test, such as the SAT, and many look forward to the hands-on experience the university continues to offer.
“UVA is offering in-person instruction as well as on grounds living and even though 80% of our courses this fall were offered in an online setting, and we anticipated that may be the same for the spring, we continued to offer quality instruction,” she said.
All factors that also led to the most diverse class ever with nearly half of early decision offers being made to underrepresented minority students. A goal two current students helped make reality and hope to build on.
“We’ve been working with admissions for our school and they have a lot of high school contacts all over the country so we’ve been working with them trying to get everybody we can from around the U.S.,” Takara Washington said.
Washington and Nyasia Harris lead a student group called Diversity in Nursing for a Better Community. The group’s mission is to increase diversity in the UVA School of Nursing applicant pool.
“In the nursing profession it’s very predominately white so I think it’s amazing that we can be here and share our perspectives and help others learn and contribute to the profession itself,” Harris, said.
“I kind of see us as role models almost in a way and it kind of gives other students and people who look like us a chance to be like ‘oh they’re doing it, we can do it also,’” Washington said.
Diversity in Nursing for a Better Community will host two virtual events as part of its ‘If you can Dream it, you can Achieve it’ event series. They will take place over the next two Saturdays. Visit this link to register.