USD nursing program sees spike in male students


SAN DIEGO — The University of San Diego has seen a spike in male students enrolling in its Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science as crisis pay has surged amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“They’re excited,” said said Professor Johnathan Mack, Ph.D, RN, NP. “They know that they’re coming in at a time when their skills are critically needed. They know they’re going to have a job waiting for them. Most of them are hired before even graduation.”

That optimism is shared by both male and female students as demand for the nursing profession is ubiquitous during the latest COVID-19 surge. For traveling crisis nurses, hospitals are paying as much as $10,000 a week in attempt to stave off the worst of the illnesses.

“Their housing is paid for and air travel, and they’re paid well to come out, and that’s what most hospitals in the U.S. are defaulting to,” Mack said.

At the same time, nurses working through their 20th month of the pandemic are now starting to burn out.

“We may be expecting an outfight from the bedside. Already, we’re behind the numbers on staffing beds in the United States,” Mack said.

The conditions facing nurses on the frontlines have been extremely stressful, and some nurses say they are feeling frustrated treating patients who have refused a vaccine.

“Having to deal with death and dying every single day — as nurses, we do that already, health care professionals do that — but to be doing it in such a magnified time frame is daunting,” Mack said.

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