August 12, 2008
Funding to help increase nursing faculty, clinical instructors
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today visited Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) to announce an increase in funding for the Michigan Nursing Corps (MNC), an initiative to train new nurses and nursing faculty to help combat the state's nursing shortage. During the 2009 fiscal year, the $5 million funding will be awarded as grants to Michigan nursing schools and hospitals. Granholm introduced the MNC initiative in her 2007 State of the State address.
"Training workers to fill the good-paying jobs available right now in health care facilities across the state is a key component of our plan to revitalize Michigan's economy," Granholm said. "By expanding our capacity for training nurses and accelerating the training, we are not only placing workers in jobs, we are helping to ensure every Michigan citizen receives world-class health care."
In the 2008 fiscal year, the Michigan departments of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG) and Community Health (DCH) awarded $1.5 million in grants to six Michigan nursing schools and four hospital partners, including Beaumont Hospital and Oakland University, Detroit Medical Center and Oakland Community College, Covenant Healthcare and Saginaw Valley State University, Trinity Health and University of Detroit Mercy, Northern Michigan University, and Wayne State University. The awards were the launch of the unique Michigan Nursing Corps.
Michigan's nursing shortage is estimated to be 18,000 by the year 2015. This critical shortage is both a public health concern and an economic development opportunity for Michigan. In 2007, Granholm recognized that the most important action to address the looming shortage was to increase the number of nursing faculty. The governor created the MNC with the goal of rapidly producing nursing educators so schools can admit more nursing students.
The grants are aimed at preparing both nursing educational faculty and clinical instructors in Michigan. In 2007, Michigan nursing programs were unable to admit more than 4,400 qualified applicants because of a lack of faculty and clinical placements.
According to DLEG's Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, health care professionals are among the most in-demand professions in the state with an 18.9 percent job growth expected by 2012. The average hourly wage for nurses is $25.30.
"Nurses and other health care professionals are critical to growing Michigan's economy and maintaining the quality of life for our citizens," said DLEG Director Keith W. Cooley. "Thanks to Governor Granholm's efforts, these grants are an investment in our future by getting nurses trained more quickly, so they can start their careers and earning a paycheck sooner rather than later."
"The Michigan Nursing Corps is the kind of program the state needs to help increase nursing education faculty," said Janet Olszewski, director of the DCH, the partner agency with DLEG on the Michigan Nursing Corps. "The nursing corps will assure that Michigan's health care needs are met today and in the future."
It is in the state's interest to increase the number of educational and clinical nursing faculty to reduce the long wait periods currently experienced by nursing students. Ultimately, this will allow nursing students to overcome the current bottleneck in completing their education. Some programs have as long as a 3-year waiting period to finish the required clinical part of nursing education.
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