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MSU sends graduating health care students to hospitals to help coronavirus response

Posted at 11:18 AM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 11:18:04-04

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State University has announced it is working to help the state's coronavirus response.

The university said it is sending hundreds of health care students, who have successfully completed their program requirements, to Michigan health care systems earlier than usual in order to help during the coronavirus pandemic.

The university said Michigan health care systems will soon have access to 87 baccalaureate-prepared nurses, 61 medical doctors and 213 osteopathic physicians.

MSU said it is working with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in expediting the licensure of health care professionals entering the workforce.

“MSU has one of the largest training programs of health professionals in the nation," said MSU Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Norman J. Beauchamp, Jr. "We recognized early in the pandemic that additional providers would be needed. We actively pursued a pathway to make it possible. Adding more than 350 medical professionals to the health care workforce at this critical juncture will make a substantive difference in combating this virus. Together, everything is possible.”

The university said students in the colleges of Human and Osteopathic Medicine normally start their residencies July 1, however, with this licensing option, graduates can enter the workforce ahead of their scheduled residency before the end of April.

The university said graduating students have completed eight years of college education and thousands of hours of clinical activity as part of their learning.

“Our newly licensed MDs are clinically experienced and well prepared to serve the needs of Michigan hospitals in this unprecedented health crisis,” Aron Sousa, interim dean of the College of Human Medicine added. “This initiative of rapidly increasing the number of physicians in our hospitals is a core part of MSU’s contribution to the COVID-19 effort in our communities throughout the state.”

The university said LARA has set up a temporary license for RN students to allow MSU nursing students to become available as practicing registered nurses before taking the exam. The university said at the end of their program in May, the graduating nursing students will have 740 contact hours through the nursing program.

“Nurses are on the frontlines of this pandemic, so it makes sense that the governor would create this opportunity for new nursing graduates to enter the workforce during this time of desperate need,” said Randolph F. R. Rasch, dean of the College of Nursing. “We need all the help we can get to provide the necessary and increasing amount of care for Michigan residents, and this is a bold first step by the governor.”

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