(10/10/13) - There has been a shortage of nurses across Michigan in recent years.
The nursing department at Saginaw Valley State University is hoping an expansion will help prepare more students for healthcare fields.
Starting next year, the nursing department at Saginaw Valley State University is increasing enrollment. That means they'll admit 96 students per semester instead of 64.
"There's definitely a need for nurses," said Maggie Bekken, a nursing student.
That's why SVSU is trying to prepare more students for nursing careers.
A lot of the organizations they partner with are telling them they need more nurses who have completed their bachelor's degrees.
"There's always going to be a need for healthcare and I think with the baby boomers, that generation is getting older and there's a need for care for them, a lot of people are putting their family members into nursing programs," Bekken said.
Judith Ruland is the dean of the College of Health and Human Services at SVSU.
She says more and more nurses in the state are planning on retiring soon.
"We have a nursing shortage in the United States that by 2020 will be huge, as the nursing workforce ages and prepares to retire we need to replace those retiring nurses with a new workforce of bracteolate nurses to take their places," she said.
Some nursing students wonder if bringing more students into the program will impact the way they learn in the classroom.
"I think it's going to be kind of interesting just because it's such a high demand in the labs, just the space so I think it's going to be a little tough trying to find space for everyone. I understand why they're doing it but it will be interesting to see how they shovel things around," Bekken said.
"When are they going to have these extra classes? Where are they going to put a third section? But also it will be good at bringing more people can be in the program," said Alycia Wright, a nursing student.
Ruland says the department is prepared to have more teachers come in. They're still having conversations about how many they'll bring in.
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