Nursing education expansion plan will help address regional nursing shortage

TRAVERSE CITY — Nursing education opportunities will expand regionally and across Michigan thanks to an innovative plan championed by local legislative leaders and funded with a $56 million appropriation in the Fiscal Year 2023 state budget, according to Northwestern Michigan College and Munson Healthcare.

The collaborative plan, approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this month, will support the development of programs for nurses with associate degrees to complete their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) on community college campuses. Under the legislation, community colleges can partner with a four-year college or university and design a BSN completion program with input from local employers and workforce development agencies. Each community college will be eligible for a $2 million grant for administering the program.

"NMC has long sought to provide students with a seamless transition from ADN to BSN and with this new funding, we're excited to work with both Munson and our four-year partners to design a BSN program our graduates can complete in Traverse City," said NMC President Nick Nissley. "We know our community, like many, faces a nursing shortage. This legislation is an important step towards solving that challenge."

“This workforce development investment is a big win for northern Michigan,” said state Rep. John Roth, of Traverse City. “Meeting patient demand has been an issue even before COVID-19 came to our state and this is an effective solution to get more nurses into our hospitals. This will be a huge positive locally. Aspiring nurses who go off to a four-year university may not return to live, work and raise a family. Providing the resources to expand degree options locally will allow for more people to specialize right in their community and care for their communities. This is an issue I prioritized when I was seeking to represent Grand Traverse County, and I’m pleased that Michigan is taking steps to meet demand and provide needed flexibility for aspiring professionals.”

The program will significantly increase the number of nurses with bachelor’s degrees that are in-demand at Michigan’s hospitals. In the last two years, NMC has graduated 91 ADN students; 64 of whom are employed at Munson.

“Munson Healthcare has long supported all strategies that promote the availability of highly trained nurses in our region. This includes partnering with Northwestern Michigan College to provide clinical instruction support to promote nursing graduates in our region. We appreciate the legislature for making this investment that will help to remove barriers for degree and career advancement and provides us with a new tool to support replenishing our healthcare talent pipeline,” said Ed Ness, president and CEO of Munson Healthcare.

The program will increase access and affordability of bachelor of science in nursing programs for students who completed their associate degree in nursing at a Michigan community college. Under the plan, grants will be administered by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and be awarded to Michigan community colleges.

The plan was developed by the Michigan Community College Association, the Michigan Association of State Universities, Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. It is also backed by the Michigan Works! Association and the Michigan Association of Colleges of Nursing.

A publicly-funded community college founded in 1951, NMC offers associate degrees and professional certificates, and bachelor's degrees from its four campuses in Traverse City, Mich. NMC was the first community college in Michigan to offer a bachelor’s degree following passage of enabling legislation in 2012.

Munson Healthcare is northern Michigan’s largest and leading healthcare system with eight award-winning hospitals including Munson Medical Center which is ranked among Fortune/Merative’s Top 100 Hospitals in America. Serving 540,000 residents across 30 counties, our dedicated healthcare team provides advanced cancer, heart and stroke intervention care, lab, rehabilitation and other services and uses the latest robotic technology, stereotactic radiosurgery, 3D tomography and non-invasive surgical procedures that keeps patients close to home. Visit for more information.

Release date: July 21, 2022

For more information:

Cari Noga
NMC Communications Director
(231) 392-1800

Dale Killingbeck
Munson Healthcare


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