North Central Michigan President David Roland Finley joined Representatives John Damoose and John Roth at a press conference in Lansing on November 10, 2021, to announce a plan that would allow Michigan community colleges to offer Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.  Following are President Finley's remarks during the press conferece.

As you heard today, there is a healthcare crisis in Michigan. This is especially evident in the nursing ranks. Simply put, we need more nurses that are better trained. The recent pandemic has only added fuel to this fire.

I thank Representatives Yancy, Roth, and Damoose for sponsoring this important legislation.

The community college Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree will provide greater access to the highest quality nursing education for all Michiganders. It will build the healthcare education continuum to meet demand locally, where our learners have existing housing. The nearest face-to-face BSN option for learners in Petoskey is 1.5 hours away. That’s the distance from here to Muskegon.  Department of labor statistics show that 200 more nurses are needed annually in Northern Michigan, and this was the pre-COVID need.

Out aim is to improve the quality of care in Northern Michigan and across the state. The programs, faculty, facilities, and relationships are all in place to quickly implement the BSN at North Central Michigan College.

Again, we’ll do this with quality. As it stands, North Central has an NCLEX licensure exam pass rate over 90 percent year-in and year-out. In 2020, we were the top-rated nursing program in the state.

Now a bit of levity. . .

As a Michigan alum, I’m generally not a fan of Ohio and particularly Ohio State this time of year. However, BSN authorization for community colleges is one area where we ought follow the state of Ohio’s lead, one of 12 states that has adopted such legislation.

Finally, I’ve a good friend whose daughter Leah wants to become a nurse, and she understands the importance of a four-year degree to further her career. North Central provides the best soil for her to grow. Let’s give Leah the choice to pursue her BSN degree at one of Michigan’s 28 community colleges. Thank you.