In order to meet the demand for more nurses in the region and across the country, The University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University will pursue independent nursing programs to educate additional health-care providers.
UT and BGSU currently partner in a joint nursing consortium. Moving forward with independent programs will provide opportunities for both universities to focus on separate strategies to educate and grow the supply of nurses, which is critical to meeting the future health-care needs of the region.
All current BGSU nursing students and new students beginning their studies in fall 2018 will continue with the consortium program through graduation and will not be impacted by the change.
Under the existing agreement, about 50 BGSU pre-nursing students annually go on to complete their required nursing coursework and clinicals through the UT College of Nursing after two years of pre-nursing studies at Bowling Green. While the students take their classes at UT during their junior and senior years, they remain BGSU students and are awarded their bachelor’s degree by BGSU.
“Health care is a rapidly changing industry, and universities need to continue to adapt to the changing environment in order to provide the best education for future health-care providers,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “The nursing profession is more critical than ever, and this new organizational structure will allow both UT and BGSU to grow our programs to better meet the need for more high-quality nurses in Ohio and beyond.”
The demand for nurses in Ohio and across the nation far exceeds the current supply. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nursing is among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2024. The nursing workforce is expected to grow by 16 percent to 3.2 million by 2024 with more than one million job openings for nurses due to growth and replacements.
“We agree that the time is right to pursue new partnerships,” BGSU President Rodney Rogers said. “We recognize that there is growing demand for nurses throughout northwest Ohio. This provides both universities the opportunity to grow their respective programs.”
UT and BGSU continue to be strong partners. Last year the universities announced a foreign language course exchange program. The universities also are partners in the Building Ohio’s Sustainable Energy Future initiative, a joint program that encourages students to pursue research careers in renewable energy and sustainable environmental practices.
Additionally, UT and BGSU are collaborating on the Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills program, which allows universities to purchase state-of-the-art equipment for use in learning laboratories specific to regional workforce needs and then share these resources with other colleges and universities to help more students get a quality education more affordably. The universities also are focusing efforts on addressing the opioid crisis and Lake Erie water quality concerns.