The ongoing shortage of nurses and other health professionals requires a continued push by educators to increase the number of new graduates entering the work force. This is typically achieved by increasing the number of students admitted to professional programs. As effective as this strategy may be, it often results in untoward consequences, including stretched human, fiscal, and physical resources that impact students, faculty, and partnering clinical agencies. Many schools are opting for improving the retention of students who have already been admitted as a means of increasing the number of graduates each year.
There are three general categories of factors that most often affect students’ ability to stay in school: financial, personal, and academic. Retention strategies that target these areas pay major dividends in improving program graduation rates.