Byline: Lisa Rauschart, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Thirty or more years ago, practically every girl wanted to be Cherry Ames, that intrepid nurse-sleuth of juvenile fiction who pursued a peripatetic career while solving exciting mysteries of every description.
Things are different these days, with the nation facing a shortage of nurses. Enrollment in nursing programs is down nationwide, while the average age of nurses continues to rise. Few young people have even heard of Cherry Ames, much less considered nursing a viable career.
So what's a nursing school to do?
For one thing, remind the public that the nursing profession is not at all what it was 30 years ago. In the Washington area, where enrollment numbers actually are up from a few years ago, nursing schools boast aggressive recruitment drives that start as early as the high school level and encourage moving to nursing as a second career.
Forget Cherry Ames. The face of nursing has changed, too, with more nurses pursuing advanced degrees in a variety of fields that Ames probably never would have imagined. A campaign even exists to recruit more gasp men into the profession.
"This is not your grandmother's nursing," promises the Web site for Georgetown University's School of Nursing and Health Studies.
"Nursing has changed, will change now and needs to change again," says Bette Keltner, dean and professor at Georgetown's nursing school, which …