Northern Michigan Nurses Receive Grant to Go Back-to-School

Four Northern Michigan nurses are back in school, at no cost, to become nurse practitioners.

With the help of a federal grant, Grand Valley State University partnered with McLaren Hospitals in an effort to improve health care in rural areas.

“Since I was a little girl I always knew I wanted to take care of patients,” said Tiffany Hornbeck, a grant recipient.

For 13 years, Tiffany Hornbeck has been doing that at McLaren Northern Michigan in Petoskey.

“It’s so difficult at times but at the end of the day most of what we do has so many rewards it’s worth it,” Hornbeck said.

McLaren has added an extra reward.

Thanks to a federal grant, Hornbeck is one of four Northern Michigan nurses studying at Grand Valley to become a nurse practitioner at no cost.

“Going back to school is something I always wanted to do, financially it was never in the cards for me,” Hornbeck said. “This opportunity is the greatest privilege and honor that I have ever been handed in my whole life and I couldn’t be more excited about it.”

Alec Tuchowski has cared for patients at McLaren for two years, and couldn’t continue his education without this grant.

“Being able to focus on school and not have to worry about the financial aspect, thanks to McLaren and this grant, without them it wouldn’t have been possible,” Tuchowski said.

They have started school, while also taking care of patients.

“Trying to balance the work and school aspect has been challenging but definitely will be worth it in the end,” Tuchowski said.

It’s an opportunity Hornbeck doesn’t take lightly.

“You’re at patients at the most difficult times in their life and I think that’s an amazing opportunity,” Hornbeck said.

With their higher education, an opportunity to make an even larger impact.