MANOA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - There will be no more spring enrollments for undergraduate students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa's School of Nursing. The head of the Hawaii Nurses Association called the cutback disappointing.
"My concern is that the University of Hawaii provides affordable education," said Joan Craft, president of HNA.
University officials said the reduction in enrollment is due to changes in the industry caused by health care reform, but Hawaii News Now obtained a recent memo from the school which cited a budget deficit and the rising cost of education.
The change comes as some new nursing graduates struggle to find jobs.
"Nursing shortages have been cyclical all through if you look all the way through the 20th to the 21st century. We have a lot of jobs, then we don't, so I anticipate and they anticipate that by 2020, we're going to have a severe nursing shortage again," said Patricia Kiladis, interim dean of Chaminade University's School of Nursing.
Chaminade University created its nursing program five years ago. The school admits about 72 students each fall, forming community partnerships to help with job placement.
"I think our students are going to be well-placed during that time frame to assume not only in-patient hospital, I think we're trying to stress that there are jobs available. It's just a question of where you take them," explained Kiladis.
UH Manoa's School of Nursing said the size of each fall class will be determined by the resources available that year.
"I just think that people should go into nursing. It's a wonderful career, and I wouldn't be put back cause UH is cutting the seats," said Craft.