Mercy Health and Bowling Green State University announced a partnership Wednesday to expand health care education.
In a news release from Mercy Health, the healthcare provider said the move is part of a plan to address the “statewide shortage of nurses and high demand for other health professionals.”
Mercy Health President Bob Baxter said changing market dynamics and declining reimbursement for provider-based nursing programs are also factors in the decision to pursue a relationship with BGSU.
“This partnership is a great fit,” BGSU President Rodney Rogers said in a prepared statement. “As a public university, we have an obligation to create public good. That meshes seamlessly with Mercy’s mission to provide health care and wellness services to all in need. Together, we can strengthen healthcare education in Ohio and better serve our students.”
The announcement included concern about the Mercy nursing program in Youngstown, but there is a chance that program will be one that stays in operation.
The Sisters of Mercy have a 100-year legacy of providing nursing education. Pictures hang at St. Elizabeth Hospital of the graduating classes, but the Mercy College program is being transferred to Bowling Green State University.
“What BGSU has promised to us is we will honor the integrity of the sisters and continue their heritage and legacy and their values,” said Dr. Susan Wajert, president of Mercy College.
Mercy Health addressed the future of current nursing students in Youngstown program with the following statement:
All 200 students who are enrolled at the Youngstown location will be able to complete their associate degree in nursing.” – Mercy Health
It will take at least two years to get the required approvals for the merger between BGSU and Mercy College. And as of yet, the future of Mercy College in Youngstown hasn’t been determined.
When pressed on the notion of the college staying in operation, Wajert said, “I really don’t know one way or another.”
Mercy Health and BGSU have started the due diligence to put together an agreement, which may or may not include the Youngstown location.
“The president of Bowling Green has been in conversation with the president of another university in the Youngstown area, so we are trying to work through all those details,” Wajert said.
For now, Mercy College will pursue the transfer to Bowling Green. 27 First News will continue to follow that transfer and if it includes the local nursing program.