BHSH System and Oakland University Partner to Address Michigan’s Nursing Shortage

To help meet the demand for nurses in Michigan, Oakland University (OU) in Rochester Hills and BHSH System in Southfield — the new combination of Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health — today announced a new partnership focused on increasing the number of trained nurses.
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BHSH System will provide upwards of $20 million over the next five years to Oakland University’s nursing program, located in the Human Health Building, to increase the number of graduating nurses. // Photo courtesy of Oakland University

To help meet the demand for nurses in Michigan, Oakland University (OU) in Rochester Hills and BHSH System in Southfield — the new combination of Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health — today announced a new partnership focused on increasing the number of trained nurses.

Through the collaboration, BHSH System will provide OU with financial resources totaling more than $20 million over the next five years for the BHSH Beaumont Health Nurse Scholar program.

“The nursing shortage in our state is a critical and complex challenge that must be solved with bold and collaborative solutions,” says Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO of BHSH System. “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Oakland University and to have this amazing opportunity to invest in talented, compassionate people who want to become nurses. We are incredibly excited about the impact the BHSH Beaumont Health Nurse Scholar program will have in health care and for our communities.”

This investment includes more than $10 million for student grants and more than $10 million for infrastructure investments. Grant recipients will be on a path to become BHSH System team members for at least two years after graduation.

To accommodate the influx in students and remain in compliance with state regulations and national accreditation standards, OU will use the infrastructure funding to expand lab and classroom space, purchase instructional equipment, and hire faculty to teach additional course sections.

OU’s nursing school educates Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) pre-licensure students via two tracks: a traditional BSN track and an accelerated second-degree (ASD) track. The university currently admits 96 students into the traditional BSN program two times per year, and 64 students into the ASD BSN program three times per year.

“We deeply appreciate BHSH System’s partnership and investment into the education of the next generation of health care providers,” says Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, president of OU. “This magnanimous gift directly responds to the need for more highly skilled nurses and the workforce shortage that has become more critical since the beginning of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“We are proud that BHSH System and OU have a shared commitment to improve the quality and delivery of patient care in Michigan. This visionary investment by BHSH System strengthens the health of Michigan’s residents and the health of our economy, both of which are a major focus of Oakland University’s mission.”

OU’s School of Nursing has approximately 770 BSN pre-licensure students at any time, graduating approximately 350 BSN nurses every year. The graduation rate is approximately 95 percent and the average NCLEX first-time pass rate during the pandemic is approximately 86 percent, which is above the Michigan average of 79 percent and on par with the national average of 87 percent.

Prior to COVID-19, the OU pass rate was 91 percent, while the Michigan average was 89 percent. Overall, 94 percent of OU’s Traditional BSN graduates report being employed in Michigan, while 88 percent of ASD graduates report they are employed in Michigan.

“OU also will add a recruitment specialist to attract diverse students and ensure the success of candidates and graduates,” says Judy Didion, dean of the School of Nursing. “OU Career Services will work in collaboration with the School of Nursing to design a marketing strategy specifically geared toward the recruitment of second-degree students working across industries.”

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