KOCHVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Saginaw Valley State University’s nursing program will accept 96 students per semester in the 2014-2015 school year, an increase of 50 percent.
The program currently is limited to 64 new students each fall and winter semester. There will be about 400 students in SVSU’s two-year program starting next year.
“Our partners are telling us they need more nurses who have completed bachelor’s degrees. That’s why we did this,” Judy Ruland, dean of SVSU’s College of Health and Human Services, told The Saginaw News ( http://bit.ly/1dLC5KL ).
The Michigan Board of Nursing approved the application to increase the program by 50 percent. SVSU had letters of support from 16 regional hospitals and health organizations with the application.
According to SVSU, 28 percent of nurses in the Great Lakes Bay Region have bachelor’s degrees. The national Institute of Medicine aims to have 80 percent of the nursing workforce with bachelor’s degrees by 2020.
“We’re trying our best to meet demand in the area,” Ruland said.
Ruland said another goal us to help the university’s community college partners such as neighboring Delta College.
At Delta, there is a three-year wait for some students between their prerequisite classes and clinical work, she said. SVSU’s program blends clinical with classroom work through five semesters.
The university has 650 students in its pre-nursing program. Ruland said the program accepts 40 percent to 60 percent of applicants. Most students are from SVSU or transfers from Delta College, she said.
Students who graduate are eligible to take the licensing exam to become a registered nurse.
Last year, Ruland said, SVSU students had a 95 percent pass rate, above the state average pass rate of 91 percent and the national average of 88 percent.
Nursing students study in SVSU’s $28 million, 90,000-square-foot Health and Human Sciences Building, which opened in 2010. The building has three wards with beds and dummies to train on and the use of a simulated hospital room with a breathing dummy, which professors can operate via computer to simulate a variety of health problems for students to treat.
Information from: The Saginaw News, http://www.mlive.com/saginaw
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