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White Paper: Strategies for Retention: Using a Retention Specialist to Increase Retention of Undergraduate Nursing Students

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White Paper: Strategies for Retention: Using a Retention Specialist to Increase Retention of Undergraduate Nursing Students

Karen J. Polvado, DNP, RN, FNP-BC

A sustained shortage of nurses in the U.S. is the driving force behind an increased number of nursing students across the country. This increase of nursing students translates to an increase in the number of non-traditional students for many nursing programs, i.e. international students (non-U.S. educated and English as a second-language), older students, students with family commitments (married and/or with children), students who commute, and students from minority and/or underprivileged backgrounds. By 2020, 46% of the nation's total college enrollments will be students of color; there will also be an increase in low-income, first-generation college, older adult, and non-native students (Farrell, 2009).

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