College of Nursing Receives $2 Million from the Michigan Nursing Corps Initiative to Spur Increase in State\'s Educators

August 20, 2009

DETROIT, August 2009 - The Wayne State University College of Nursing has been awarded more than $2 million in the latest round of grants related to initiatives aimed at alleviating the state's nursing shortage. This award will prepare faculty for Michigan Schools of Nursing, helping to alleviate a bottleneck to preparing the necessary number of nurses to meet the state's need.

Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm in 2007 unveiled the creation of a Michigan Nursing Corps to specifically confront the state's critical shortage of nurses. The governor said the Corps will address the key obstacle to educating greater numbers of nurses - a shortage of faculty - by preparing additional nurse educators to train new nurses by the year 2010.

This is the second consecutive year the College of Nursing has been awarded grants through the Nursing Corps plan. The funds will build on the college's already successful program supported by the previous grant. The new award is expected to triple the number of students in the college's accelerated, 15-month master's degree program specializing in acute and critical care, while providing an accelerated conclusion to current PhD students in preparation for immediate faculty positions at universities across the state. The first cohort of students will graduate from the program in December 2009. All students participating in the Nursing Corps have made a commitment to teach in Michigan schools of nursing for at least five years.

The 2009 grant is part of a $5 million line-item in the state budget designated by lawmakers to tackle the state's looming nursing shortage, expected to hit at least 7,000 by 2010.

"We are pleased at the initiative taken by the governor and members of the legislature to address a basic need - alleviating the nursing shortage," says Dr. Barbara K. Redman, dean of the College of Nursing. "Supporting an initiative such as this, especially during uncertain economic times in Michigan, shows the state's commitment to the health and well-being of Michigan citizens as well as to sustaining the state's health care industries."

Dr. Jean Davis, director of the PhD program, and Dr. Stephen Cavanagh, professor and associate dean of academic and clinical affairs, head of the master's programs, will implement the grants.

According to the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), schools of nursing nationwide still are receiving many more qualified applicants than can be accommodated. The latest AACN data shows that 41,385 qualified applicants were turned away from entry-level baccalaureate nursing programs based on responses from 406 institutions. AACN claims most schools point to a shortage of faculty as the primary reason for turning away qualified students.