By Jacob Uitti
It’s no secret that we are in the middle of a nursing shortage
crisis here in the United States - and it's only projected to get
- Healthcare jobs are expected to grow faster than any other
industry, at a rate of 14% between 2018-2028.
- Baby Boomers are quickly aging out of the workforce and many
hospitals are having difficulty finding and retaining talent.
- Colleges and universities are now forced to radically readjust
their nursing program structure to meet the needs of today’s
That’s why Purdue University has launched the first public online
university to offer what they are calling extreme personalization”
for working adults. With this approach, students are encouraged to
hyper tailor” their associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral
degrees in nursing to meet their individual needs and schedule.
Even more, Purdue is revolutionizing the field of nursing education
by making it seamless for students enrolled in the Associate of
Science (ADN) program to start earning their Bachelor of Science in
Nursing (BSN) at the same time.
By working towards their BSN in conjunction with their ADN, nursing
students will be able to:
- Nursing students complete their BSN faster and more affordably
- New nursing graduates enter the workforce sooner
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Purdue’s New Online Approach To Nursing Programs
Dr. Melissa Burdi is the Associate Dean of the School of Nursing at
Purdue University Global, an online adult education-focused program
that prides itself on offering a diverse array of courses and
programs to teach both aspiring and working nurses.
She works diligently to create learning environments for people in
need of schedule flexibility and the ability to work around day
Why does she do this? Many reasons! But chief among them is the
country’s current nursing shortage. Today, there is more need for
nurses than there are nurses to fill them. And people like Burdi
are working to fix that.
We caught up with the educator to ask her about her program at
Purdue University Global and how it helps its students.
How is Purdue’s School of Nursing helping to stave off the nursing
Purdue has a variety of offerings that we are providing to either
new nurses coming into the profession, as well as established
nurses that are wishing to advance their degree through advanced
education opportunities or specialty certification.
At Purdue Global, we offer a wide pipeline of programs starting
with our Associate Degree of Nursing, going on through our
Baccalaureate Degree of Nursing all the way through our Doctor of
Nursing Practice program, which is our terminal degree. So, we have
many offerings for nurses at various stages of their career and
that’s really helping to fill the need with the great shortage that
we’re experiencing across the country.
What are the top reasons for the nursing shortage?
We have an aging population with more chronic diseases than we’ve
ever seen before. We have many nurses who are at the age of
retirement. And it’s a very complex profession that requires a lot
of dedication, commitment and it’s just difficult to get enough
nurses trained as quickly as possible. So, I think having that
bottleneck contributes to the shortage, as well.
It’s a combination of our disease population changing - we have a
lot of Baby Boomers that are upon the age of retirement - and then,
of course, just the bottleneck and being able to create
opportunities for new nurses to come into the programs, learn the
What are you most excited about in regard to the future of nursing?
The nursing profession is progressive in today’s time versus 30-40
years ago. We’ve made tremendous strides in putting ourselves on
the map. We have created additional academic degrees; we’ve created
a space for the nurses to be more autonomous in their practice. So,
I don’t think it’s the draw of the professions , I think it has
more to do with our population that is growing and keep up with the
demand. I think that the profession has become more exciting. We
are on the map!
We’re involved with shaping the healthcare delivery model, we have
opportunities to have our voice at the table where decisions are
being made, both at the micro and macro level. So, I think it’s an
exciting time. Not that it wasn’t exciting 30-40 years ago but I
think we’re at a place and time where nursing is very engaging,
it’s an exciting profession to be a part of.
What makes online nursing programs so appealing to your average
Purdue nursing student?
Online programs su