NMU, MGH Receive $2 Million Grant for Nursing Training


The NMU School of Nursing and Marquette General Hospital have been awarded nearly $2 million in state grant money to accelerate the education and graduation of registered and practical nurses.


Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced that 13 Michigan universities and community colleges will receive nearly $17 million in grants made available with Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) funds. The funding is part of the governor’s MI Opportunity Partnership. It will be used to train an anticipated 1,200 health professionals, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, clinical nurse faculty and allied health professionals such as respiratory therapists and pharmacy technicians.


Authored by Kerri D. Schuiling ( School of Nursing ), the grant awarded to NMU and MGH is the second largest of those approved.


Northern will partner with Marquette General to educate an additional 20 LPNs and 20 RNs during the two fiscal years of the grant. Additionally, preceptor training at Marquette General will be provided to 70 registered nurses who will become clinical faculty for the accelerated program. One hundred LPN students are expected to graduate during the funding period.

“There is an acute shortage of nurses and nursing faculty to teach in nursing education programs. The demand for the nursing programs at NMU is at an all-time high,” Schuiling said. “This award enables us to address the shortages in nursing and nursing faculty by making accelerated training opportunities available.”

An Upper Peninsula Health Care Roundtable survey — of which MGH and NMU are members — revealed that the top three occupational areas in need of solutions are registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing aides/orderlies/attendants. The grant addresses the need for qualified employees in these critical occupations for the entire U.P.

“Thanks to collaborative efforts like this with Marquette General, these grants will help ensure that we’re training and employing people quickly,” Schuiling said. “The program for registered nurses is for those individuals who already have a degree, have not found work, or have lost their jobs and desire a degree in nursing,” she explained. “Examples are teachers who have been laid off. These people will only have to take nursing course work, which is offered in an accelerated format.”

Karen MacLachlan, MGH assistant administrator who oversees nursing and patient services, said the opportunity to increase the nursing healthcare workforce in the Upper Peninsula bodes well for the future of health care.

“We are excited about receiving the DSH grant,” MacLachlan said. “Over the years, Marquette General has enjoyed a tremendous working relationship with the School of Nursing at Northern. This will allow us to build on that collaboration by offering accelerated training opportunities in nursing.”

The MI Opportunity Partnership specifically targets the healthcare industry because of the need for skilled workers and the high number of existing vacancies. According to a recent study released jointly by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth and the Michigan Department of Community Health, the state will need to fill more than 100,000 professional and technical healthcare jobs in Michigan over the next decade.

Grant funding is expected to have a positive impact on the economy of the Upper Peninsula since health care comprises one of the largest categories of employers.

This is an edited version of a news release prepared by the community relations department at MGH.


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Updated: October 26, 2005

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