Michigan State Representative John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs) on Wednesday detailed a plan to reduce the shortage of nurses throughout the state.

The legislation would allow community colleges in Michigan to award bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

In accordance with the potential law, colleges would be required to gain accreditation for nursing education or have a pending application or candidacy.

“Our plan will teach nurses and meet Michigan residents’ health care needs,” Damoose said. “Hospitals and nursing homes are desperately searching for nurses to care for patients. Meanwhile, community colleges across Michigan already provide excellent nursing programs, but the law prevents them from getting nurses across the finish line with a bachelor’s degree. Our plan will fully utilize community colleges to educate new nurses and help fill the growing demand for qualified, caring talent.”

Michigan, like many other states, has faced a shortage of healthcare labor for an extended period. The Michigan Public Health Institute said the shortage will continue until 2030.

Furthermore, members of the healthcare profession and officials from the state’s community college have praised the legislation.

“There is a health care crisis in Michigan, and we need more nurses who are better trained,” Dr. David Roland Finley, the president of North Central Michigan College, said. “Allowing community colleges to offer BSNs will provide greater access to the highest quality nursing education for all Michiganders. It will build the health care education continuum to meet demand locally, where our learners live. At North Central Michigan College, we are fully prepared for this change. The programs, faculty, facilities and relationships are all in place to quickly implement the BSN.”

If participating in the bachelor’s program, community colleges will be required to continue their associate degree option, unless there is a low level of interest.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Star News Network. Follow Cooper on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]