MARIETTA— Nursing students at Washington State Community College (WSCC) are now eligible for a $6,000 per semester grant from Memorial Health System (MHS). The funds are made available thanks to the $10 million award the hospital received from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The federal government allocated funds to MHS to address the nursing shortage by working with Washington State Community College and West Virginia University-Parkersburg. The hospital will award 100 students, 50 from each school, $6,000 per semester. These funds can help offset expenses such as rent, transportation, childcare, food, and more.
“The incredible value of this grant is unlike anything offered at WSCC,” said WSCC President Dr. Vicky Wood. “Our students, 50% of whom are eligible for the federal Pell Grant, can receive this money in addition to their aid. That’s life-changing news for some of our students.”
Wood emphasized how these monies would improve the success of Washington State nursing students. “The rigor and demands placed on nursing students often make it challenging for them to successfully balance learning with the need to provide financial support for their families. As evidenced by our students, those who work more than 20 hours, tend not to complete. These funds will help reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the financial barrier and allow them to focus on earning their degree.”
Supporting their long-time partner’s efforts to address the nursing shortage, Washington State is doubling the number of students in its associate degree nursing (ADN) program. They’re doing this by offering two enrollment opportunities a year, one in August and a second in January.
Wood said the college could commit to this growth because of the exceptional performance of its nursing program. In fact, Washington State was recently recognized as the number one ADN program in the state and ranked second in the Midwest region, which included 12 states and 674 programs. Furthermore, preliminary 2023 numbers show a 100% licensure pass rate for ADN and practical nursing students who have tested this year.
“With the support from this grant, we are confident that we can provide the nurses that Memorial Health needs,” confirmed Wood.
For more information on Memorial Health System nursing education opportunities, visit mhsystem.org/student-nurse/.
Details about WSCC’s nursing program, including how to apply, are available at wscc.edu/nursing.