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a noble profession

Nursing school applications are up amid pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed hospitals across the United States to the brink, but that hasn't scared away future medical workers — in fact, enrollment in nursing programs across the country rose almost 6 percent over the last year, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing said Wednesday.

Michael Usino, assistant dean at Pennsylvania's Temple University, told CBS News that initially, the college was afraid students "were going to be seeing the news in social media and what's happening in the hospitals and on the front lines and be dissuaded from nursing." Instead, nursing school applications were up by 15 percent this fall compared to 2019, when roughly 7,500 people applied for 110 spots in the program.

Usino said nursing schools are "very lucky" this next generation of students is "feeling that inspiration to actually want to serve the community." Student Emily Greene has family and friends working in the medical field, and she told CBS News watching them serve "tirelessly" made her "motivated and more excited to be in health care." She has been warned about possible burnout, and Temple University has crafted its curriculum so students learn how to focus on their mental health and carve out time for self care.