BHSH System and Grand Valley State Join Forces to Address Nursing Shortage

The BHSH system (pictured) and Grand Valley State University are partnering to alleviate the nursing shortage with the BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan Nurse Scholar program. // Courtesy of Grand Valley State University

BHSH System, created from the merger of Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health, and Grand Valley State University (GVSU) near Grand Rapids, announced a partnership to create the $19 million BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan Nurse Scholar program. dollars.

This partnership aims to increase the pool of nursing talent by removing financial barriers to college and facilitating the educational pathway to employment at BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan.

The health system will provide the infrastructure, start-up costs, and resources to increase clinical placements, training, and other supports for students in the program. This includes grant dollars for all BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan Nurse Scholars. GVSU will increase infrastructure support for students in the areas of financial aid, program enhancements, technology and equipment, student support services, simulation enhancements, and clinical experiences.

“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 and compassionate people who want to become nurses,” says Tina Freese Decker, President and CEO. , BHSH system.

“Our teams have presented a joint and innovative proposal that expands opportunities for up to 500 future nurses and can be a model for others to emulate. We are incredibly excited about the Nurse Scholars program and the impact it will have on health care, for individual learners and for future generations.

The partnership will allow nearly 500 additional students to pursue a career in nursing over the next six years. The university will assume all future infrastructure costs and maintain a permanent increase in the number of students admitted to its Kirkhof College of Nursing, creating a lasting impact for our community, state, and region. More than 92% of all GVSU graduates in health professions remain in Michigan.

An analysis of the federal workforce shows that Michigan is currently experiencing a shortage of nurses for its population, and this shortage has been exacerbated by burnout and stress caused by the pandemic. Leaders from both institutions say the creative solution they have devised will create a stronger talent pool, and that the partnership can serve as a model and inspiration for businesses, universities, communities and governments to address shortages. of talent in the country.

“These talent shortages are holding us back or putting us at risk. We have many dedicated and talented students who wish to pursue nursing studies, 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 students and diversified,” says Philomena V. Mantella, President. of GVSU. “This program is a huge leap forward and a model for other areas of great need. I applaud the ingenuity and the will of our teams to carry it out. »

After all approvals and accreditations, the BHSH Spectrum Health West Michigan Nurse Scholar program will be in place by January 2023.


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