Governor Says Nursing Corps Initiative Addressing Nursing Shortage

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

August 15, 2008

Radio address discusses funding to help increase training for nurses                        

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that $6.5 million in new funding for the Michigan Nursing Corps (MNC) will help expand nursing education in nursing schools across the state to help meet the growing demand for quality medical care, providing Michigan citizens with good-paying jobs.

"Michigan needs more nurses to meet our immediate and developing health care needs," Granholm said.  "And we need a thriving health care sector that provides our citizens with good- paying jobs.  Our Michigan Nursing Corps is making sure we achieve both of these important goals."

The governor created MNC with the goal of rapidly producing nursing educators so schools can admit more nursing students and reduce the long wait periods currently experienced by nursing students.  Michigan's nursing shortage is estimated to be 18,000 by the year 2015.

"All of us - at some point in our lives - will need medical care," Granholm said.  "Whether it's the serious care of a hospital or treatment at a doctor's office, the quality of care that we receive is greatly influenced by the care and compassion of the nurses that we meet."

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday morning and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available on the governor's Web site at (www.michigan.gov/gov) for download, together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address is also available as a podcast on the Web site, as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow.

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Radio Address - Michigan Nursing Corps
August 15, 2008

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov158_Full_245551_7.mp3 
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov158_Edit_245552_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov158_Quote_245553_7.mp3

This is Governor Jennifer Granholm. 

All of us - at some point in our lives - will need medical care.  Whether it's the serious care of a hospital or treatment at a doctor's office, the quality of care that we receive is greatly influenced by the care and compassion of the nurses that we meet.

That quality care is threatened by a nursing shortage in Michigan.  There just aren't enough trained professionals to meet the need.  In fact, our hospitals are hiring Canadian nurses, because they can't find enough Michigan workers.  And it's getting worse.  By 2010, Michigan is going to be short 7,000 registered nurses, and by 2015 we're going to be short 18,000 registered nurses. 

At the same time, thousands of people in Michigan would like to become nurses - many because they have lost jobs in other fields.  Last year, 4,400 qualified applicants were turned away from Michigan nursing programs because there wasn't enough room.

People like Jackie Sneed of Taylor.  Jackie recently left Ford Motor Company to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.  After completing her pre-requisites and getting an excellent score on her entrance exam, Jackie remains on a waiting list for the Henry Ford Community College nursing program.  Jackie may have to wait another year or so.

That's why I proposed the Michigan Nursing Corps to train new nurses and nursing faculty, so we can expand our programs over the next five years to help people like Jackie become nurses to meet the growing demand.

So each of these strategies will help move nurses into the workforce quicker - it's all a part of our No Worker Left Behind initiative that is training workers for jobs that exist in the 21st century economy.

Funding for this program is growing.  We just announced $6.5 million in new funding to open the pipeline and expand nursing education in nursing schools across the state - places like Saginaw Valley State, Oakland, Wayne State, Northern Michigan, Detroit Mercy universities, as well as at Oakland Community College and their health care partners - all increasing the number of nurse educators and, therefore, increasing the number of nursing slots across the state.

So this program in all will result in 42,000 more trained nurses over the next 5 years.

Michigan needs more nurses to meet our immediate and developing health care needs.  And we need a thriving health care sector that provides our citizens with good paying jobs.  Our Michigan Nursing Corps is making sure we achieve both of these important goals.

Thank you for listening.

# # #