Michigan State University health care students who have successfully completed their program requirements to Michigan health care systems are available earlier than usual to help aid in COVID-19 response.

Health care systems will now have access to 87 nurses, 61 medical doctors and 213 osteopathic physicians as a result of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order granting expedited provisional licensure of health care professionals entering the workforce.

“MSU has one of the largest training programs of health professionals in the nation. We recognized early in the pandemic that additional providers would be needed. We actively pursued a pathway to make it possible,” said MSU Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Dr. Norman J. Beauchamp Jr. “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.”

“Our newly licensed (doctors) 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.”

Under the governor’s executive order, nursing students will also be eligible for early provisional licensing. Before entering the workforce, nursing students are required to pass their NCLEX-RN exam to become licensed. MSU’s nursing students will become available as practicing registered nurses ahead of that licensure under appropriate supervision while they await the results of their examination.

“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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