The University of Michigan Professional Nurses Council gave Michigan Medicine, the academic medical center of the University of Michigan, their approval for a three-year contract. The 5,700 registered nurses represented by UMPNC now have guaranteed pay raises and paid parental leave, while also providing flexibility to better provide patient safety and quality care.
David Spahlinger, M.D., president of the University of Michigan Health System and executive vice dean for clinical affairs of the U-M Medical School, shared with UMHS Media: “This ratification is good news for the entire Michigan Medicine community: our nurses, our patients and all of our staff. We are grateful to all who worked tirelessly to bargain a fair agreement.”
In additional to guaranteed salary raises of 3 to 4 percent, the contract includes increased funding to tuition reimbursement and professional development, maintenance of health insurance and retirement benefits, improvements to the payroll system, and reductions in mandatory overtime. Additionally, the contract includes a paid maternal and parental leave program with six weeks of paid leave for recovery from birth, and six weeks of paid leave after a birth, adoption, or foster care and guardianship. This paid maternal and parental leave now matches benefits given to non-union University of Michigan employees.
“Over the months of bargaining, we stressed our support for working with our nurses as we continue our efforts to bring the best healthcare possible to our patients and communities across the state,” Spahlinger told UMHS Media. “This is a significant milestone, and we look forward to working with our nurses as we continue our efforts to bring the best healthcare possible to our patients and communities across the state.”
For more information about Michigan Medicine and the nursing contract negotiations, click here.
The University of Michigan-Flint (UM-Flint) recently announced that Margaret M. Andrews has been appointed the founding dean of the School of Nursing. Andrews joined UM-Flint as a professor in 2006 and has served as interim dean of the School of Nursing since its creation in November 2016. She previously served as director of the UM-Flint Department of Nursing for 10 years.
Andrews tells News.UMFlint.edu, “It’s an honor and privilege to be the founding dean of the School of Nursing. I thank President Schlissel, the Regents, Chancellor Borrego, Provost Knerr, and the School of Nursing faculty and staff for their confidence in me.”
Andrews has announced that her primary goal for the School of Nursing is to establish a renewed commitment to research, which will be integral to the school’s 2018-2023 strategic plan. The School of Nursing faculty have invited top leaders in research as visiting professors to consult with nursing students and faculty on the school’s research agenda.
Andrews received her bachelor of science in nursing degree from St. John College in 1972, her master of science in nursing degree from Case Western Reserve University in 1974, and her PhD from the University of Utah in 1985.
To learn more about Margaret M. Andrews’ appointment as founding dean of the UM-Flint School of Nursing, visit here.
Concordia University Ann Arbor’s School of Nursing recently conducted a poverty simulation that presented 65 students with tough questions related to the topic: What if you only had a $10 bill for the month to meet your family’s basic needs? How does living in poverty look when you are a senior citizen, disabled, or receive federal assistance?
Called the Community Action Poverty Simulation, the simulation was designed to help students understand the realities of poverty by putting them in the shoes of a person who lives in poverty. According to University of Michigan Poverty Solutions, during 2017, 12.7 percent of people living in the US had incomes below the poverty line. The experience was intended to help nursing students learn to more empathetically and effectively provide care to future patients in these scenarios.
Nursing students interacted with “participants” who played the roles of bill collectors, job interviewers, grocers, police officers, teachers, and more. During the three-hour simulation, nursing students were given scenarios and had to find a way to provide shelter and basic necessities on a limited budget over the course of four weeks.
Anita Simmons, the School of Nursing’s director of simulation, said in a press release, “We are thrilled by the way this program helped our nursing students understand the complexities and frustrations of living in poverty day to day. With a greater awareness of its impact, our students will be able to more effectively address poverty issues when working with patients.”
The Concordia University Ann Arbor School of Nursing requires students to spend 90 minutes per week in simulation labs like the poverty simulation one. To learn more about the university’s simulation program, visit here.
The University of Michigan-Flint’s (UM-Flint) Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) program was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from Newman’s Own Foundation as part of its commitment to improve the lives of US military personnel, veterans, and their families. The grant will be used to develop and implement a Vet2Vet Support Specialist Program dedicated to providing peer support to veteran nursing students.
Dr. Beverly Jones, VBSN project director, tells News.UMFlint.edu, “The University of Michigan-Flint Vet2Vet Coaching Program will provide benefit for both students and coach specialists who are military veterans. The program is a two-way relationship that supports matriculation persistence and university engagement as veterans transition into student nurses and successfully complete the registered nurse licensure examination. By enhancing student morale, productivity, and reducing the sense of student isolation, the program paves the way for veterans to become bachelor-prepared registered nurses.”
UM-Flint is committed to providing a military-friendly environment to nursing students, ensuring that they receive the best education, supportive services, and tools necessary for academic success. The VBSN program is dedicated to building healthy communities through strengthening the healthcare workforce with recruitment efforts, licensure preparation, and employment of US veterans.
The VBSN program is an accelerated bachelor’s degree program that builds on prior military healthcare training for veterans who want to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The program focuses on reducing barriers to entry for veterans and awarding academic credit for military coursework and other health-oriented training.
To learn more about UM-Flint’s recent grant to fund the Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, visit here.
A new project being led by Western Michigan University’s (WMU) Bronson School of Nursing is working to draw more minority students into its nursing program. The project aims to recruit, retain, and train nursing students from underserved and underrepresented groups and is an expansion of a pilot program that was launched a few years ago. After a successful pilot, the university was awarded a federal grant to expand the program.
The new $2 million project, titled the Empowering Nursing Students for Success Project, is a solution to a diversity in healthcare issue across the state of Michigan. According to the US Census Bureau and Michigan Annual Nurse Survey Project, 20 percent of people in Michigan are black and Latino, but less than 8 percent of the state’s nurses represent minorities. With race and ethnicity a factor in many illnesses, greater diversity is more important than ever.
WMU nursing student, Yessica Garcia, is the oldest of four children of Mexican immigrants who migrated to the US 20 years ago. After being forced to translate for her parents and their nurses when she was just five years old, her family eventually began avoiding healthcare altogether. The experience inspired Garcia to pursue nursing and help families similar to her own.
Denise Neely, vice president and chief nursing officer at Bronson Methodist Hospital tells WMUK.org that this diversity project is important: “We have a diverse population that we take care of, and so I think it’s very important that we reflect that in our employees. The grant should really do a lot for our area to help us support those diverse populations and support people getting into nursing careers.”
Students at WMU enter the nursing school as sophomores, so the Empowering Nursing Students for Success Project recruits students already attending the university. With increased funding, the program also now offers students scholarships and stipends to help offset the financial barriers of receiving a nursing education.
To learn more about WMU’s Empowering Nursing Students for Success Project to increase diversity in nursing in the state of Michigan, visit here.
To help combat the stress of nursing school, the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA) at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) created a Transitions Mentorship Program which is in its third semester. The student-run organization immerses GVSU nursing students into the medical world through presentations, group meetings, and hands-on activities.
Jamie Platt, president of the GVSU SNA chapter, tells Lanthorn.com, “The idea behind the program is to empower our new student nurses. SNA believes that creating a strong environment through positive peer-student relationships during the beginning of nursing school will allow new students to feel confident during a vulnerable time in the nursing program.”
The Transitions program pairs lower-level nursing students with upper-level students so they can meet and discuss topics in their major and receive tips for studying for nursing exams. It offers students someone to lean on while studying in an intensive program.
GVSU’s student nurse association decided to incorporate the mentorship program based on student feedback. Many older nursing students reported the struggles they went through and wished they had had someone to help them through the program. GVSU’s nursing program is comprised of five semesters, so students in their first or second semester are paired with a student in their third, fourth, or fifth semester.
Students in the mentorship program are required to meet five times per semester and are encouraged to meet biweekly. After meeting, the mentors report back on their conversations, many of which have revolved around clinical work which makes up half of the students’ time so that they can practice skills they learn in the classroom.
The program has received positive feedback thus far, making a positive impact on students. Many students feel the mentorship program helps them feel more confident and less apprehensive about future semesters. To learn more about GVSU’s student nurse mentorship program, visit here.