Executive order allows MSU nursing student to join the fight against COVID-19 earlier than normal

Published: Apr. 5, 2020 at 7:52 PM EDT
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(04/05/20) - Michigan State University is adding more than 350 medical professionals to the health care workforce, and they're doing so quicker than normal.

The additions to the workforce are made possible through an

signed by Governor Whitmer.

Elizabeth Luea, a graduating nursing student at Michigan State University, will be among those budding health care professionals entering the field earlier than anticipated.

"My first reaction is like, of course, I want to do this. I want to be able to jump in," Luea said.

The governor has lifted some regulatory requirements for health care students so they can help the health care system operate more efficiently.

She is on track to graduate at her normal time, but she would've had to wait for the results of her licensure exam before she could work as a nurse. Now, she can apply for a temporary registration through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and work as a nurse before taking the exam.

The temporary registration is valid for 28 days and may be renewed by LARA until the sate emergency is over.

The order also counts hours worked in response to COVID-19 as hours toward continuing education courses or programs required for licensure.

Luea is already working in the medical field and in a clinical group with a supervisor. As a graduating nursing student she will have 740 contact hours with MSU's program.

Luea has asthma and realizes it may be dangerous for her to be on the front lines.

"Are we going to bring it home to our family, are we even going to know we have it before we give it to somebody so just having that is scary," Luea said.

It may be scary given what the world is facing now, but she is up for the challenge.

Luea is in the process of accepting a job at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

Michigan State has a big crop of health care students who have met requirements and are ready to help, including 87 nurses, 61 medical doctors and 213 osteopathic physicians.