The University of Central Arkansas and Conway Regional Health System on Wednesday announced a partnership to address a statewide nursing shortage.
The Conway Regional Health Foundation is providing $390,000 in grants. Of that, $240,000 will be used for student scholarships.
The other $150,000, be paid in increments of $50,000 per year for three years, will be used for faculty development and School of Nursing initiatives and create the Nursing Enhancement Fund.
The new Partnership for Clinical Excellence will award a $2,500 scholarship to an average of eight students in the UCA School of Nursing. The money will be granted per semester for four semesters for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
“Health care providers across the country are looking for ways to tackle this critical nursing shortage, and we see this investment in education as an important step along with the added benefit of a focus on clinical best practice and other areas such as research and staff development,” Conway Regional CEO Matt Troup said in a news release.
The university and Conway Regional will jointly select students for the PCE scholarships. PCE students must commit to working for Conway Regional for a minimum of two years after graduation and to passing licensure requirements.
Susan Gatto, director of the UCA School of Nursing, said in the release, “Nationally, and here in the Southern region, the nursing shortage is augmented by the shortage of nursing faculty. In fact, the shortage of nursing faculty is just as critical as the shortage of nurses, if not more so. This initiative will help support the retention of current faculty and recruitment of other faculty here at UCA.”