KENT, Ohio – Kent State University and University Hospital have received a $4 million grant to create a program that could help fill some unmet needs in nursing in northeastern Ohio.
Additionally, KSU received a $400,000 check from the District Three Nurses Association to create four new scholarships for nursing students at four campuses in the Mahoning Valley.
The $4 million grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration will allow KSU and the hospital to develop an LPN-to-BSN pathway that will be called the LPN Education Advancement Program.
Through the program, licensed practical nurses at University Hospitals will have the opportunity to increase their skill set by removing barriers that may have kept them from furthering their education.
The LPN pathway is typically a 10-month program, allowing nurses to quickly enter the workforce and begin making a living. However, by obtaining their Bachelor of Science in Nursing, students will be able to grow and advance in their field and help provide a better quality of care.
“We surveyed the LPNs at University Hospitals to find out if they had a desire to go back to school and what barriers were preventing them,” said Mary Kutchin, lecturer and faculty researcher at KSU’s College of Nursing. “The top two responses were time and money. We know how busy these students will be in the program, so providing days off to dedicate to school work will set them up for success.”
Those accepted into the LEAP program will have tuition waivers covered by University Hospitals, while the grant will help provide stipends for living expenses and pay the students to have one day off each week for the first two years and two days off during the last two years of the program. Additionally, the grant will hire an academic advisory solely dedicated to supporting these students. The money will fund the program for four years.
During the first two years, the students will complete prerequisites and general education requirements, which may be taken at any institution. During the final two years, the students will come together as a cohort at University Hospital for their remaining lectures and use the simulation and skills lab in Henderson Hall at KSU’s main campus. All clinical rotations will happen at University Hospital facilities.
The new District Three Nurses Mary Ellen Patton Scholarships will go to students enrolled in the BSN program at KSU at Trumbull and KSU at Salem campuses. Mary Ellen Patton was a Youngstown nurse and advocate for improving the working conditions of nurses.
The District Three Nurses Make a Difference Scholarship will be for RNs enrolled in the RN-to-BSN completion program at KSU’s main campus. The District Three Nurses Make A Difference Scholarship will be for students in the associate degree program at KSU at East Liverpool.
The District Three Nurses Association also established a similar endowment fund for scholarships at Youngstown State University.
The District Three Nurses Association was founded in 1918 to advance professional nursing practice in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.
Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.