|Universities Not to Blame for Michigan's Nursing Shortage|
April 29, 2014/MLive
By Dr. Cynthia McCurren, President, Michigan Association of Colleges of Nursing
Dean, Kirkhof College of Nursing at Grand Valley State University
On behalf of the Michigan Association of Colleges of Nursing (representing Michigan’s 22 baccalaureate and higher degree nursing programs), I am responding to the April 23rd column by Ken Braun titled “Public universities prop up Michigan’s nursing shortage.”
Allowing community colleges to offer four year nursing degree programs will do nothing to address the bottleneck in nursing education and will not remedy nursing shortages. The real problems that need to be addressed are the lack of space for clinical learning and too few qualified faculty.
While it is desirable for Michigan to have more baccalaureate-trained nurses, allowing community colleges to offer bachelor degrees in nursing will not increase the numbers of nurses in our state, will not impact the nursing shortage, and will not address waiting lists for entry into nursing programs at community colleges or universities.
Registered nurses who want a four year degree can already enroll in one of the 19 completion programs across the state, some of which are offered on-line, making it very convenient for the student to complete their bachelor’s degree. Most of Michigan’s completion programs have space available – evidence that these programs are meeting the demand.
Taxpayers and students are better served by the current partnership. We believe that it is more cost-effective and educationally sound to invest in Michigan’s nationally accredited baccalaureate nursing programs.