Thousands of would-be nurses are waitlisted at community colleges -- the main affordable choice for them. At the same time, the United States is facing a nursing shortage and importing nurses from abroad because of the high demand.
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Now, the difficulties of educating new nurses. The NewsHour's special correspondent for education, John Merrow, has that story.
ABBY ADVINCULA, Potential Nursing Student:
Hi, can I take your order?
JOHN MERROW, Special Correspondent for Education: When Abby Advincula first came to San Diego from the Philippines, the best she could get was a job at McDonalds. But after six years, she wants more.
It stresses you out. Sometimes you're just like, "I don't want to go to work anymore." I don't want to be an assistant manager. I want to be a nurse.
To become a nurse, Abby planned to attend a community college, affordable, open places where anyone, regardless of wealth or background, can get an education. More than half of all nurses come from community colleges.
Abby Advincula thought she was in the right place at the right time. California's hospitals need nurses, and she's fully qualified. But San Diego City College put her on the waiting list.
They just told me, like, "Oh, you have to wait four to six semesters." I'm just frustrated. It's just like delaying my dreams three years. You've been thinking, "I could have been a nurse, you know? And what am I still doing here?"