ST. CLOUD -- Monday marks National Nurses Day. A fitting celebration for a job that is seeing an increasing amount of changes.

A national shortage of nurses along with President Obama's new health care law are two issues transforming the industry.

Nurses are now expected to work in different situations compared to the traditional role of providing basic care.

Joyce Simones is the interim chair of the Nursing Department at St. Cloud State University. She says today's nurses are being met with more challenges than ever before.

SCSU is now allowing twice as many nurses to graduate from its program each year. Simones says the university used to allow only 40 people in the program but now that number stands at 80.

The change is due in large part to the national shortage hospitals are having. Simones adds that nearly twice as many apply for the program, than get accepted.

Despite the changing role of health care providers, she says it still comes down to a desire to help people.

National Nurses Day recognizes the contributions care-givers make to their communities. The celebration begins each year on May 6 and ends May 12, honoring Florence Nightingale's birthday.