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      Educating nursing instructors to address shortage

      N orthern Michigan has a lot of baby boomers living in the area and as they grow older, the need for healthcare also grows. But the number of qualified nursing instructors to train new nurses is shrinking.

      " The demand for nurses is increasing every day we can't meet the demand we don't have enough faculty so we turn away qualified students in every program , every day in United States and especially the state of Michigan ," Saginaw Valley State University Dean of Health and Human Services Dr. Judy Ruland said.

      T his is alarming news for universities around the state , who have thousands of students applying to nursing schools each year. A report done by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses says in 2010, colleges around the country turned away more than sixty-seven thousand qualified nursing applicants. That is why Saginaw Valley State University has quickly moved to offer a Master's degree program for nursing education here at the University Center in Gaylord.

      " This is just one more way that you can contribute to that profession in terms of being able to teach the next generation of nurses on how to care for people as a nurse ," SVSU Nursing Department Chair Dr. Sally Decker said.

      T he degree program only takes two years to complete. O nce completed , it allows graduates to teach at most colleges. A nd once they can get the more quality graduates through the program , the sooner they can address the growing needs of the industry , which is expected to see a historic shortage of nurses in the year 2020.

      " Healthcare is not slowing down at all it's certainly one of the growing fields in terms of you all the economic situation for state and for the country ," Dr. Decker said.

      O ne of the professors from Saginaw Valley State told 7&4 News that right now 70-percent of the nurses around the state are baby boomers and if more nurses aren't trained soon, Michigan will be short of five thousand nurses by 2018.