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Grand Valley State University and BHSH announce partnership to address nursing shortage

GVSU's campus on the medical mile
GVSU's campus on the medical mile

In an effort to address a “severe worker shortage” in the nursing profession, officials from Grand Valley State University and the newly created Beaumont Health/Spectrum Health System (BHSH) Tuesday announced a new partnership to increase the nursing talent pipeline.

BHSH will invest $19 million to help fund infrastructure, start-up costs, resources for increased clinical placements, training and other support for students at Grand Valley State University’s Kirkof School of Nursing.

A large portion of that investment however, will go towards financial aid; with the goal of increasing the number of students at GVSU by 500 over the next six years.

Grand Valley State University President Dr. Philomena V. Mantella praised BHSH Tuesday for the partnership, and said removing financial barriers for some students will go a long way in addressing the nursing shortage.

“We have many dedicated and talented students who want to pursue nursing, but we needed the creativity and support of our partners at BHSH System to make the expansion of nursing possible and affordable for more talented and diverse students. This program is a huge leap forward and a model for other high need fields. “

According to a recent federal workforce analysis, Michigan currently has a severe nursing shortage for its population, and the stresses caused by the pandemic have only made things worse for the profession.

Tina Freese Decker, is the president and CEO of BHSH System. She said that unless measures are taken, Michigan faces a shortage of up to 30,000 nurses by 2030.

“We challenged ourselves to be bold: What can we do, together with GVSU, to permanently increase access to education, strengthen nursing education programs and invest in talented, compassionate people who want to become nurses,” Decker said.

Grand Valley officials say that the BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan Nurse Scholar program will be in place by January of 2023.

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