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College of Nursing News

Kent State University Graduates 352 Nursing Students During National Nurses Week

Posted May. 28, 2014
College of Nursing grads flying their caps after Commencement

Kent State University’s College of Nursing graduated 352 nursing students at Spring 2014 Commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 9, and Saturday, May 10, in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (MAC Center) on Kent State’s campus. Held during National Nurses Week, the 195 bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN) and 157 master of science in nursing degree graduates have now officially begun their professional careers as nurses.

Earlier in the week, Kent’s nursing graduates celebrated their accomplishments with a pinning ceremony at the Kent Student Center Ballroom. The pinning ceremony—a rite of passage at many nursing colleges—marks the transition from nursing student to nursing professional and has been a tradition for more than 130 years. Graduates of Kent State’s intensive nursing program attended the pinning ceremony with family, faculty members and peers to celebrate and give thanks to those who have supported them while in school.

Nursing students receive pins at ConvocationKent State’s rigorous nursing program combines classroom with clinical experiences in smaller health care agencies, hospitals and larger medical centers in the surrounding area where many students find full-time positions upon graduation.

The Growing Demand for Professional Nurses

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) estimates that of the 2.8 million RN’s currently practicing in the US, 34.9% are over age 50 and 8.5% are over age 60. The anticipated retirement of these nurses will create a significant shortfall in the workforce. In fact, by 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections has determined an additional 1.2 million registered nurses will be needed to address this demand. Also fueling this demand are the millions of Americans who now have access to health care under the Affordable Care Act.

As the need for professional nurses continues to grow in Ohio and across the country, so has Kent State’s nursing program, which accepted 333 freshman nursing students in the fall of 2013, an increase of nearly 14% over fall of 2012. With one of the largest nursing programs in the country, the college is exploring options for expansion to help meet future demands for professional nurses.

“We are positioning ourselves in response to the changes we see taking place in health care and the nursing profession in Ohio and across the US,” says Dr. Barbara Broome, a two-time Kent State alumna and current dean of the College of Nursing. “As we look forward, the strength of our nursing program, high-caliber students, cutting-edge research and technology, and our dedicated faculty will ensure future generations of nurses are well-prepared to meet the increasing demand for professional nursing services.”

About Kent State University College of Nursing

In existence for nearly 50 years, the College of Nursing at Kent State University is one of the largest and most comprehensive nursing programs in the nation. As part of Kent State’s eight-campus system, the college provides more than 2,000 nursing students courses of study at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels. To learn more about nursing programs at Kent State, please visit www.kent.edu/nursing.

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