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UM Health-West, GRCC partner to address nursing shortage

Health West Nurses.jpg
University Of Michigan Health-West
Courtesy Photo
University of Michigan Health-West Nurses

Grand Rapids Community College and University of Michigan Health-West are partnering to create a talent pipeline addressing the nursing shortage.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the national nursing shortage. Many have reduced hours, sought new careers or retired. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests annual registered nurse job openings will average more than 203,000 through 2031.

“Where are those nurses going to come from, but more so, how are we going to get them here.”

Michelle Richter is Grand Rapids Community College Nursing Program Director. She explains it’s an associate degree program. Partnering with University of Michigan Health-West and its foundation, students with one completed semester can apply to have up to three semesters tuition paid.

“The commitment of the student is to work for U of M Health-West as a registered nurse for two years in a direct clinical-facing role.”

Students can focus on studying with the removal of a financial barrier while gaining paid on-the-job real-world experience and building professional relationships. U of M Health-West investing in its workforce. During the two-year commitment, students will be encouraged to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

The program launches in December with enrollment availability for 10 to 15 students. Beyond April graduation, GRCC will enroll 10 more nursing students in each of the next three semesters.