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      LPN program back at NMU

      Northern Michigan University can add one more program to its list of degrees...the practical nursing program, also knows as the LPN.

      The LPN program was suspended in 2010 due to budget cuts and lack of job opportunities in the area, but now it's being reactivated.

      "The LPN program was an excellent program, and the classes were always full. We had a full cohort of students every time we offered an admissions cycle," said Associate Dean and Director of NMU School of Nursing, Nanci Gasiewicz.

      Officials from Marquette General Hospital and Duke Lifepoint asked the university to reconsider the program in anticipation of future need.

      Northern officials say that the LPN program has come back at the perfect time, right when the region needs it the most.

      "We anticipate that the graduates are going to have a great deal of employability when they graduate. So, we're implementing this based on request in need in the area. So what we're doing is we're simply supplying that request," Gasiewicz added.

      MGH employs about 200 LPNs and used to hire the majority of them from Northern.

      "The students that we had gotten from the LPN program at Northern were always excellent, and we obviously employed a great many LPNs from that program. So we are looking forward to having those LPN students available to us again when they graduate," said Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of MGH, Dagmar Raica.

      The program is scheduled to restart in 2013.