Students in the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at UNMC now have additional tuition support available. The College of Nursing announced that the Helene Fuld Health Trust has made a $650,000 gift commitment to help students as they prepare for nursing service.
The gift establishes the Helene Fuld Health Trust Scholarship as a permanently endowed fund at the University of Nebraska Foundation. Income from the fund will enable the College of Nursing to award annual scholarships to students enrolled in the accelerated nursing program.
The Helene Fuld Health Trust also provided funds to the college for immediate scholarship awards to help students until the endowment is fully funded. The college has awarded Helene Fuld Health Trust Scholarships to 17 current students for this 2019-2020 academic year with awards of more than $2,000 each to help with their tuition.
The Helene Fuld Health Trust of Trenton, New Jersey, is the nation's largest private funder devoted exclusively to nursing education and students.
Juliann Sebastian, PhD, said the college is "immensely grateful" to the Helene Fuld Health Trust for its support.
"These much-needed funds are a great source of help to students because accelerated programs require such a time commitment that students cannot rely on employment to provide financial support," Dr. Sebastian said. "The 12 months they are in the program require intense, concentrated work, and having this kind of scholarship support alleviates some of the stress associated with their financial pressures. Students can then focus more on their studies and building the necessary knowledge and skills to become superb nurses."
With the American Association of Colleges of Nursing predicting a growing shortage of nurses, Dr. Sebastian said the new scholarship fund comes at an important time as UNMC prepares graduates to help shore up the shortage of nurses in Nebraska, especially in rural areas.
"Nurses are needed now more than ever, and we thank the Helene Fuld Health Trust for providing this critical support that ultimately helps expand the nursing workforce," Dr. Sebastian said.
The university's accelerated BSN program is a 12-month option for students who already have a bachelor's degree in another field. The College of Nursing offers the program through its divisions in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney, Norfolk and Scottsbluff. In the program, students work together in location-based cohorts and participate in course lectures across all locations.
Leonhard Felix Fuld and his sister, Florentine Fuld, founded the Helene Fuld Health Trust in 1935 in honor of their mother, Helene Fuld, who died in 1923. Helene Fuld was interested in health issues, and the foundation was originally dedicated to helping those suffering from illness. In 1961, Leonhard Fuld limited the foundation's scope to focus on improving the health and welfare of student nurses.