TOLEDO, Ohio — Mercy College is looking to expand their footprint in the nursing career field by announcing an increased class size for the associate degree nursing program.

College officials said the program size will increase by approximately 15%.

This announcement is their way to help answer to the nursing shortage the community is facing.

They hope the increase of students will eventually offset the need for nurses.

"We want to make sure that we serve our community and their needs. We know that the Toledo community has a sincere and serious need for nurses. So as we can adjust and meet that need organically, we want to do so," said Mercy College Dean of Faculty, Trevor Bates.

Last year, Mercy College announced an increase to their Bachelor of Science Nursing Program as well. 

The associate degree program is different than the bachelor program.

The program is accelerated and more flexible, but in the end, students will still be able to become a registered nurse.

School officials said that by taking the associate nursing program, it allows them a different, less traditional route into the bachelor's of nursing program.