Flint Journal Highlights Health Care Education Shortages

The Flint Journal and MLive Media group’s story on the state of Genesee County’s “Healthy Economy” provides unique insights into how Michigan’s health care workforce is transforming traditional auto manufacturing communities into a health care economic powerhouse.

The health care industry now employs more workers than any other sector in the same community that saw the birth of General Motors, and that number is projected to increase from 44,000 employees today to over 58,000 positions in 2018.

The series highlights the challenges of creating enough capacity to education enough professionals to meet the demand for patients care. Medical education for all health care professionals consists of two main parts: classroom and clinical education; and the Flint Journal identified the two most critical challenges.

Classroom shortages are particularly acute for nursing students. Less than half of one percent of all nurses in Michigan are trained at the Ph.D. level and eligible to teach future nurses. In response to this need, the Michigan Health Council awarded the Hope College Nursing program to promote additional Ph.D. trained nurses with a Building Michigan’s Health Care Workforce Award. The Hope Nursing Department helps prepare undergraduate nurses for graduate work and created a pathway for these nurses to pursue graduate work for an advanced degree.

The Alliance for Clinical Education (ACE) system, a Michigan Health Council Program, is the preeminent program to address the shortages of clinical education space for health care students. The ACE system is a product of collaboration of hospitals and education programs across the state to use a coordinated technology system to make clinical placements more efficient and maximize the use of all clinical rotation spots.

The ACE system has helped place and provide training for thousands of students, reducing costs for member hospitals and ensuring education programs have access for the right clinical placements for their students.

The Michigan Health Council is proud to help meet the need to provide increased training for Michigan’s health care workforce.