Flint, MI–Three nurses from McLaren Flint are among the first to benefit from a partnership between McLaren Health Care and Grand Valley State University that funds educational opportunities for nurses from disadvantaged backgrounds and underrepresented minority groups.

Sojourner Green, an registered nurse at McLaren Flint, is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She made the decision to further her education after seeing the number of Black patients affected by COVID-19 on her unit at the hospital, leaving her wondering how she could help.

“When I found out about the grant, I thought, maybe this could be my opportunity to do something bigger than myself. This is a huge discount for me to be able to further my education,” Green said. “I think it is important for McLaren to give back to the community in this way, so that we can better serve our community and community members can see representation of themselves within the corporation.”

Green hopes to eventually receive her Master of Science in Nursing and become a community health nurse.

Through the grant, nurses have the majority of their tuition costs covered to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, or Doctor of Nursing Practice as a Health Systems Leader at GVSU’s Kirkhof College of Nursing.

Nurses must meet at least one of these requirements to be eligible under the grant:

  • Be from an underrepresented minority group
  • Come from an educationally disadvantaged background, such as graduating from a high school that performs lower than the state average
  • Have an economic disadvantage, such as receiving public assistance or a household income below the average low-income

The bachelor’s degree program is online with some in-person practicum experiences while the master’s and doctoral programs are hybrid, meaning the students will go to Grand Valley once a month while receiving the rest of their education online.

“This is a great opportunity for McLaren nurses from diverse backgrounds to continue their education and advance their careers within our organization,” said Lisa Zajac, Director of Clinical Informatics at McLaren Health Care.

Andrew Roth is a reporter and photographer covering politics and policy in Michigan, as well technology, culture and their convergence. Andrew is a journalism student at Michigan State University and first...