The way education is funded in Texas is usually after the fact. If classes increase money from the state comes up to two years later. Dr. Patricia Starck, Dean of the School of Nursing at UT Health Science Center at Houston says the new law for nursing schools changes that to help nursing classes grow.
“In order to increase enrollment you need to hire the faculty at the same time you admit the students. This bill is going to give us advance money so that we can hire the faculty which is going to allow us to increase the number of students we admit.”
The new law also includes accountability.
“If we say, for instance, that we’re going to admit 30 additional students and we end up only admitting 20 additional students, then we have to give money back.”
Nursing schools in Texas have increased enrollments about 70% since 2001, but that is still not enough to end the shortage. The goal is for schools to quadruple enrollments by 2020.