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September 21, 2023

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BGSU, UT partner up to provide better nursing experience

Because Bowling Green State University has a partnership with the University of Toledo, students at both universities are able to take advantage of opportunities available in the nursing field.

The partnership allows students to take nursing classes at the University of Toledo while still getting their degree from BGSU. The program helps students avoid waiting for a spot at a smaller community college and helps them break into a field that is quickly losing nurses.

According to a study conducted by the Nursing Institute of West Central Ohio, the average age of a registered nurse in west-central Ohio is 47. It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of the current nurses will retire within the next 10 years, while the number of people receiving a nursing degree has decreased by 62 percent during the past six years.

Even if students do make the cut, nurses often leave the profession due to job dissatisfaction and emotional exhaustion. A study released in the May/June 2001 issue of “Health Affairs” reported that more than 40 percent of nurses were dissatisfied with their job. The study also found that one out of three nurses under the age of 30 were planning to leave their job within the next year.

And with more than 300 students competing for one of 175 spots at BGSU and UT, many students don’t make the cut because of faculty shortages at UT and many other nursing schools across the nation.

“That’s why we encourage many students to have a parallel career plan,” said a BGSU nursing adviser Jessica Clifford.

Students that don’t make it are often encouraged to continue their education in one of the other health service programs offered at BGSU like community health or gerontology.

Students must have at least a 2.5 GPA to be eligible for BGSU’s nursing program, but most students fall well above this mark, said Matthew Webb, director of program advisement.

Last year’s lowest GPA was a 3.3 he said. Because there is a limited number of clinical spaces in hospitals, the University of Toledo is limited in the number of seats in can offer students.

Clinical spaces are used to give students field spaces in hospitals, but there is not enough room in the Toledo area for all the students who want to enroll into the program.

Students who make it into the program and graduate will have plenty of career opportunities.

“Oh my gosh, its unbelievable! They can go everywhere,” said Paula Ballmer, admissions representative for the college of nursing at the University of Toledo.

BGSU and UT students often have a couple job offerings before graduation, she said.

While many students will want to go to graduate school, it’s important that they get at least a years’ worth of hands on experience first, Ballmer said.

Most students will make about $45,000 right out of school, and nurses that go on to earn a masters degree could $71,000 or more depending on their specialty.

“Nursing offers good salaries but don’t let it be the driving force, you need to have passion too,” Ballmer said.

A nurse with a bachelor’s degree just treats patients. While a nurse practitioner can diagnose and treat patients and give them prescriptions, Webb said.

Many students will spend a year working and gaining hands-on experience before going back to school for their masters, Ballmer said.

Even though the program incorporates students from two different universities, no one is treated differently based on which school they will be graduating from.

“We really value the richness of what the [University] students bring to us,” Ballmer said.

When students are deciding which university they will get their nursing degree from, Ballmer tells students it’s important that they pick the school that fits them.

“Many students love Bowling Green because it’s a classic college town while others like Toledo,” she said.

Because students from two different schools are going into one joint program there is a slight difference in the tuition. A high school senior entering the University could expect to pay $16,018 including room and board while an incoming UT freshman could expect to pay $16,372.

“We have a great joint program. It is accredited and well respected.” Ballmer said. “When you get in here, you’re part of the college of nursing family.”


Bowling Green State University Nursing Program

University of Toledo – College of Nursing

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