Oakland U, Beaumont partnership seeks to stop nurse shortages in state

One of the hardest hit workforces from staffing shortages is nursing.

"It does impact us we don’t have as many caregivers as we would like to have at the bedside, but as a.nursing team we always put the care and safety of the patient first," said Anne Stewart, chief nursing officer, Beaumont.

It is another place where the coronavirus pandemic impact is being felt.

"There is a nursing shortage through the United States not just here in southeast Michigan not just at Beaumont," Stewart said.

A new partnership between Beaumont and Oakland University was announced Thursday to help address the problem.

"We are excited to partner with Oakland University to invest in and implement the innovative program BHSH, Beaumont Health Nursing Scholars," said Tina Freese Decker, president and CEO, Beaumont Health and Spectrum Health. "This includes an investment of more than $20 million dollars to create an opportunity for up to 500 additional students to pursue a career in nursing over the next five years."

Oakland University believes this partnership is a win-win for the educational and medical communities.

"We really need each other," said Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz/ President, Oakland University. "This gift makes possible the essential ecosystem that must exist across education, economics, and healthcare to enable our community to have an excellent quality of life."

Beaumont will work to finance the program, Decker said.

"There is funding from BHSH system," she said. "These are dollars that we have strategically allocated because we really want to have a focus on recruitment and retention and investing more into people becoming nurses."

The nursing shortage has put a dire strain on nurses all over the country, including at Beaumont

"Many nurses pick up more shifts because they want to be part of the team they want to care for patients so they’re working the fourth shift sometimes a fifth shift," said Stewart.

The program will provide scholarships to help students finance their education

"Half of the funding goes directly to our nursing students have scholarships and the other half goes to you infrastructure at Oakland University so that we can actually make if possible for us to train and educate the students," said Pescovitz.

In the coming months, Oakland university will continue working on requirements for those who can will eligible for the program.