MSU nursing students are getting fast-tracked to join work force sooner in pandemic fight

There is no secret there is a critical need for nurses and others on the front line of the pandemic.
Recently we've seen a sit-in at a Detroit hospital, nurses protesting having what they see as inadequate numbers. But, help is on the way.

"A number of our graduates will already be able to hit the ground running in Detroit," says Randy Rasch.

Rasch, the dean of the College of Nursing at Michigan State University, says roughly 90 nurses willing graduating in May. And he says they are not deterred by the current situation. 

"Our students are excited to be in the field," he said. "They are not happy about the pandemic, but they recognize the opportunity to be on the front line and provide this care and to grow from providing this care."

The same could be said for those even thinking about a career in nursing. 

"Our applications for enrollment have not dropped, they remain steady and seem to be increasing," said Rasch.

Late last month the state of Michigan recognized the impending need for front line help and waived the state exam for licensing nurses. Instead, issuing permits based on the university's recommendation.
"They will still be able to enter the work force much sooner than they normally do," Rasch said.

Meaning the class graduating in may can help hospitals in May and not have to wait weeks or a month for the results of the state's exam. 

But just because they can go into the fire sooner, the question is will they be ready for what they will likely encounter. The dean at Michigan State University confidently says, yes they will. 

"We've been able to say to them you really have been prepared - not only to protect yourself and but to protect the patients," Rasch said.

So far he says he personally has not heard of anyone from his college who isn't willing to step up in the face of the coronavirus.