Nursing program to increase to 160 students per semester

Third-year+nursing+student+Natasha+Seeger+says+she+%22excited%22+to+see+the+program+grow.

Johannes Haasbroek

Third-year nursing student Natasha Seeger says she “excited” to see the program grow.

Johannes Haasbroek, Editor-in-Chief

AACC’s nursing program will increase from 104 to 160 students per semester—an increase of 53%— by spring 2022, college officials said in December. 

Health Sciences Dean Elizabeth Appel said the college is expanding the program, in part, to help address the lack of qualified nurses in Maryland. 

“The nation as a whole has a nursing shortage,” she explained. “Part of what our community college does is to meet the needs of the community and … to support our workforce. 

Appel said the popularity of AACC’s nursing degreeis another factor in the college’s decision to expand the program. 

We [currently] … have a lot more applicants than we can ever accept into the program,” she explained. “We’re basically meeting the community need.”  

The college will hire four additional nursing professors to help the the growing program, Appel said. 

Appel said she excited to see the program grow. 

“The nursing program is one of our shining star programs at the community college, she explained. 

“We are always seen as either No. 1 or 2 in the state, sometimes even better than our four-year partners. 

Some nursing faculty members said they welcome the program’s expansion. 

“It’s what society needs,” Nursing Assistant Dean Scott Olden said. “We need to have more qualified nurses, and I strongly believe that [AACC] produces very efficient and qualified graduates. 

Nursing fundamentals coordinator Denise Lyons agreed. 

We’re at a time where we definitely need more nurses in the field,” Lyons, an associate nursing professor, said. “As the seasoned nurses begin to retire, we need to be able to replace them with these new students that are coming in.”   

Some nursing students said they are glad to see the program grow. 

“It will be a great opportunity for most students to get into the program quick[ly] and early,” second-year nursing student Duaa Ahsan said. “There’s more chance of great nursing [staff] coming out of the program.” 

Third-year nursing student Natasha Seeger agreed. 

We have really good rates for passing the licensure exam,” she said. “It’s really exciting that we’ll be able to get that many more nurses out in the field.”