A Flint nursing program is receiving a financial boost that aims to fill a health care employment gap.
The University of Michigan-Flint is one of three schools in the state to receive nearly $700,000 dollars from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The money is to support registered nurses becoming nurse practitioners.
The grant will provide about a third of the incoming students with enough money to pay for a year's tuition and fees.
Connie Creech is the director of Flint's graduate nursing program.
She says the grant will allow her students to continue to fill health care jobs in areas that need it the most.
"Thirty five percent of my students work in medically underserved areas upon graduation," Creech said. "Most of them work in primary care settings, so they're out there in clinics, urgent cares, practices that serve patients in their everyday health care needs."
The two-year grant will provide another set of 15 students with the same amount the second year.
Creech also says this support is critical in getting more caregivers out in the field.
"Most of my students continue to work some during the program, so it's just a great benefit to them," she said. "A lot of them may not make it through the program without financial assistance, or they have to go through at a much slower pace."
The University of Detroit Mercy and Grand Valley State University received similar grants.
– Alyse Guenther, Michigan Radio Newsroom