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GVSU, Jackson College Team Up To Create New Nursing Education Opportunity

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State grants are making these programs possible, but can students afford to take advantage of them without racking up intolerable debt?

GVSU, Jackson College team to create new pathways for students, strengthen nursing talent pipeline

Leaders at Grand Valley State University and Jackson College signed an agreement July 11 that includes a nursing pathway for Jackson College students to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing from GVSU, strengthening the talent pipeline in that field.

Funding for the nursing partnership comes from $56 million in state appropriations for community colleges to partner with four-year universities and design a bachelor's degree in nursing specific to that community.

The agreement also provides other Jackson College students with seamless pathways to complete their bachelor's degrees at GVSU and gives Grand Valley a physical office at Jackson College's main campus on Emmons Road. Starting this fall, the office will be staffed by a jointly hired student services coordinator to offer broad-ranging transfer and student support.

GVSU President Philomena V. Mantella said the agreement benefits and empowers Jackson College students to continue their education without barriers.

"We are so pleased with this agreement that develops a deep partnership with Jackson College and the surrounding community," Mantella said. "Having a physical presence will allow us to collaborate on joint programming and community engagement. The nursing partnership builds health equity and educational equity in Jackson by meeting the needs of area residents."

Jackson College President Daniel J. Phelan concurred with Mantella’s comments. 

“Not only will the agreement provide more opportunities for area nurses to build upon their credentials, but the permanent presence of GVSU in the Jackson College University Center will provide the greater Jackson community with a solid educational pathway to other instructional areas, with a highly reputable public university — all without leaving the area,” Phelan said. “I am grateful to Dr. Mantella and her team for making this partnership possible.”

President Philomena V. Mantella said the agreement builds health equity and educational equity in the Jackson area.

Nursing faculty from both institutions will soon co-design a curriculum for current Jackson College students and graduates who hold an associate degree in nursing and want to continue their education. Jackson College students will have access to Grand Valley support services like financial aid, advising and tutoring.

Patricia Thomas, dean of GVSU's Kirkhof College of Nursing, said it's an innovative approach removing educational barriers.

"Nurses who have their bachelor's degree are often called upon for more leadership positions, more doors are open to them," Thomas said. "We look forward to this partnership as a strategy to ensure our future nurses address health care disparities in their community while advancing the nursing profession."

GVSU representatives at the signing included Fatma Mili, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, and Patricia Thomas, KCON dean.

Heather Ruttkofsky, Jackson College dean of Health Sciences, Career and Technical Trades, said: “From this innovative collaboration, it’s exciting to see that students in our communities will consider Jackson College their choice for a bachelor’s degree instead of a transfer pathway. 

"From the time we first came together with Grand Valley, the conversations we had showed that this program was a clear fit with each institution’s mission. We are excited for this new opportunity for our students and the possibility for future collaborations.”


Abigail Nobel
Member Admin
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 233

From what I hear, with nursing education it's more about quality of life, mental health in particular.

Healthcare has become so fenced in with regulations, protocols, and mandates, the state could provide full ride scholarships and good people would still decline. 



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