November 3, 2016

Purdue Nursing to double undergraduate enrollment and open Ph.D. program to meet state's job demand

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University School of Nursing is expanding its undergraduate enrollment to help meet the state's growing demand for registered nurses.

"Nursing is a critical component of health care and the shortage for nurses is high, especially in the Midwest," said Jane Kirkpatrick, professor and head of the School of Nursing. "By doubling the number of students admitted to nursing from 100 to 200, Purdue can help meet the state's workforce needs."

As part of the enrollment expansion, the School of Nursing also is celebrating the renovation of its Center for Education and Simulation lab with an open house 2-4 p.m. Friday (Nov. 4) in Johnson Hall, Room 108. The event is free and open to the public.

Purdue nursing graduates have a 100 percent job placement rate, and about 70 percent of its nursing students are from Indiana, Kirkpatrick said.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a demand for 1.1 million new nurses over the next seven years to fill about 575,000 newly created positions and to replace some 550,000 nurses who will retire by 2022.  

Of the 100 additional students admitted each year, 40 will be first-year students, 30 will be Purdue students who change their major or other transfer students and 30 will be part of the second-degree accelerated program. The increase will take place over the next three years. The School of Nursing also will hire 30 additional new faculty members during the next three years to meet the state's instructor and students ratio guidelines.

The School of Nursing is taking applications for the new Ph.D. program in nursing that launches in fall 2017. This program, designed to develop nurse scientists who can lead transdisciplinary teams to address complex, challenges in health and health care, will help meet the national goal to double the number of nurses who hold a doctorate by 2020. Only one percent of all nurses hold a Ph.D., and the demand for nursing scientists, nurse executives and nursing faculty far outpaces the supply.

"We anticipate our graduates to be highly recruited as both academics and practice," Kirkpatrick said. "There is a current and growing nursing faculty shortage that limits our ability to educate the next generation of nurses, as well, there is a demand for nursing researchers to be employed in hospital and health care systems where they are highly engaged in improving systems and patient outcomes."

 Inquiries for this program may be made to Karen Foli, associate professor and director of the Ph.D. in Nursing Program, at

The Center for Education and Simulation lab provides nursing students realistic hands-on simulated clinical experience. The computer-based mannequins have voices as well as, heart, lung and bowel sounds, pulses and programmable vital signs, and can react to nursing care.

"These simulations immerse the students in realistic clinical situations that reflect the complexity of our patient population," Kirkpatrick said. "Today, three-fourths of hospital patients seen for an acute problem also have at least one chronic disease. The simulation lab provides consistent experience for all students, and allows them to practice decision-making for complex patients in a safe environment. These experiences are in addition to their clinical practice experiences in hospital and community settings."

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Source: Jane Kirkpatrick, 765-494-6644,

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