Hillsdale Hospital offers tuition assistance to address nursing shortages

‘Future of Nursing’ program at Hillsdale Hospital helps high school seniors pay for nursing school.
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:46 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The nursing shortage continues to grow across the United States, according to experts. By 2035, Michigan is one out of 10 states that will have a shortage of registered nurses.

Right here in Mid-Michigan, Hillsdale Hospital has a solution to the issue – they’re offering tuition assistance up to $50,000 to help aspiring nurses with local roots get a job in their community.

“During nursing school, for sure, it relieved a lot of stress and pressure not having to worry about how I was going to cover college financially,” said recent nursing school graduate, Allison Sheffer.

She said she’s grateful to have the hospital’s support behind her. Sheffer graduated from nursing school in December. With the help of Hillsdale Hospital’s Future of Nursing Academic Assistance Program, she’s now taking care of her community as a Registered Nurse.

“My mom has been a nurse for 20-30 years and she actually worked here for a while when I was little, so we’d come up to see her. I remember coming up and just being young and seeing all of it really kick start my passion for it and just wanting to follow in my mom’s footsteps,” said Sheffer.

Hillsdale Hospital makes the payments. All the students need to do is pick a school.

“They are able to choose wherever they want to go to school. So, we’ve had a lot of folks go to school more locally – we’ve had Jackson College, Spring Arbor. But even Allison Sheffer who is in our emergency department and just became an RN officially this week, she went to school at U of M,” said Rachel Lott, Chief Communications Officer.

Lott said rural health systems struggle to find workers – the nursing shortage makes that even harder. Hillsdale Hospital decided to take a look in their own backyard.

“We are really passionate about making sure that we have multiple strategies in place to staff our floors and staff our units, and this is one of the long-term strategies,” said Lott.

Hillsdale Hospital’s Chief of Nursing Officer, Megan Campbell, said in a statement that being able to recruit and retain Hillsdale County students is a win for both the hospital and its patients. “I’m so grateful that I have this opportunity to come back and help the community I grew up in,” said Sheffer.

Hillsdale Hospital’s Future of Nursing application is open to high school seniors in Hillsdale County. The deadline to apply is April 3, 2023. To learn more or apply for the Future of Nursing program, visit the hospital’s website, or contact Mary Carpenter at 517-437-5289 or mcarpenter@hillsdalehospital.com.

On Friday, Hillsdale Hospital announced it has earned the 2023 Top Workplaces USA award.

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