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Michigan Tech begins talks to take on Finlandia’s nursing program

On Tuesday, March 14, Finlandia University’s Board of Trustees announced that the school will be permanently closing. This announcement was made due to a decreasing enrollment, as well as the consideration of the debt that students have gone into to attend the college. 

For many, this came as a surprise. A student who wishes to remain anonymous, who graduated from Finlandia in December of 2022, said, “We had heard rumors in November that Finlandia might be closing but the administration denied it. When the announcement came through in March, it was completely unexpected for most students. I’m just glad I was able to graduate before all of this.” 

Considering that Finlandia has been the sole program for nursing students in the Houghton-Hancock area, the closure of the school is predicted to have an immense impact on the local hospitals. Dr. Shekhar Joshi, the department chair for Biological Sciences at Tech, explained that the University Senate will be discussing the logistics of getting a nursing program up and running at Michigan Tech. The proposal will go over what the loss of the Finlandia program will mean for our community, the accreditation Tech would need to get the program running, the cost associated with implementing the program, and the curriculum needed for the program. 

Biology and healthcare-related programs that already exist at Tech include Medical Laboratory Science, Exercise Science, and our Pre-health minor. Claire Danielson, the advisor for the Medical Laboratory Science program, stated that there would be many benefits to the nursing program, Michigan Tech, and our community by taking on this program. “Students will have a place to get their nursing degree without having to relocate, our community relies on graduates from local nursing programs to support their hospitals, and Michigan Tech will gain a new pool of students that are interested in the nursing field. With the national shortage of healthcare professionals, it is extremely important to keep the nursing program alive in our rural area to ensure that the shortage does not get worse in our community.” 

Danielson ensures that the Biology department is working diligently to make space to house the nursing program. “We will have to do some rearranging, but we are happy to have the nursing students and faculty in our department.” She went on to say, “This program may also help to shed light on our programs like medical laboratory science, kinesiology, and other pre-health options that students may not know exist!”

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