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IUPUI faces issues to address before expanding nursing program

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis says it will expand its nursing program to accommodate more students, but did not say when that would happen.

A thousand students are enrolled at IUPUI, 300 at the Indiana University Fort Wayne campus, and 300 at IU Bloomington.

“Absolutely, there is a nursing shortage, and we are staying very mindful about what that might look like,” said Robin Newhouse, dean of the IUPUI School of Nursing.

Newhouse adds that enrollment could increase on an incremental basis.

“We have to ensure we have adequate clinical placements. We have to ensure we have adequate additional faculty to train, and we have to have adequate space to train,” Newhouse said.

The school also has accreditation standards it must adhere to.

There are also several graduate programs offered at IUPUI’s School of Nursing, including one that trains nurse practitioners.

“Many of them are primary care providers and can deployed across the state in nurse-managed clinics to provide primary care in regions, particular rural areas, where there are no providers available,” Newhouse said.

Other programs that train nursing specialists who can work with populations suffering from chronic illnesses.

“Reduce lengths of stay (at hospitals), reduce readmissions, and reduce health care costs,” Newhouse said.

Much of the country was suffering from a nursing shortage before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the shortage was exacerbated by virus.