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Corona crisis makes nursing training more attractive

For once, the corona virus also has a positive effect: the nursing program will gain popularity next academic year. The AP Hogeschool Antwerp currently has almost twice as many registrations as last year. They also record a strong increase at Thomas More and Vives.

We can almost refer to nursing as a bottleneck profession: while vacancies in hospitals and care centers rose, in the last two years fewer and fewer students were interested in training as a nurse. But that seems to change in the coming academic year, thanks to the corona virus.

“Last year we had a total of 110 new students in the first year,” says Eva Van der Linden, head of nursing at the AP Hogeschool Antwerp. “This year we are heading for a doubling with the provisional figures. Job security in healthcare will have to do with that anyway, but this year there seems to be something more going on. The profession has therefore come into the picture a lot. The exciting and compelling side of the job suddenly became very visible. As a result, the general public views nursing differently. ”

No victory crows yet

At Thomas More, spokeswoman Veerle Heyvaert confirms the trend with an increase of 15 percent and there are also more registrations at Vives. “We don’t have concrete figures yet, they have yet to be processed, but we do see that more students are opting for the nursing study program,” says Nancy Boucquez, Vives’ nursing study area director. “And it is not only graduated students who register. Adults are also increasingly asking for information about the training. This mainly concerns people who have recently been made redundant in sectors that are under pressure from the health crisis. For that new ones students, the dismissal is an opportunity: they are giving their careers a new turn in the healthcare sector. ”

The latter does not come as a surprise to the Flemish care ambassador Eleonora Holtzer. “For several years now, the nursing study program has been popular with people who already have a career behind them. The economy is struggling and they want something different. They want to mean something to other people and then you quickly end up in healthcare. ”

As far as graduate students are concerned, Holtzer does not want to claim victory too soon. “I held my heart to what the corona virus would do to the study program: would it deter or attract future students? It seems to be the second. Of course I am happy that schools are seeing an increase in the number of enrollments, but we cannot draw any conclusions yet: the schools were only yesterday (Monday) has officially started and there is still a long way to go. At the moment we can only hope that this trend will continue in all nursing courses because the healthcare sector needs it. ”

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