Hospitals face a looming nursing shortage. Dr. Crystal Hayden, chief nursing officer at Nash UNC Health Care, said experts expect there will be a need for approximately one million nurses by 2024. And the nursing shortage is already affecting Nash UNC Health Care. Placing patients from the emergency department into rooms is a problem, not because of a shortage of beds...but because of a shortage of nurses.

Nash UNC Health Care hopes to find a long-term solution to the nursing crisis by partnering with Nash Community College to offer The Nurse Scholars Program,

The program fully funds the cost of the student’s education at NCC, plus provides a monthly stipend for high-achieving students pursuing an associate degree in nursing. The scholarship offers immediate hiring upon graduation and, in return, nurse scholars commit to work full-time for up to three years at Nash UNC Health Care.

Hayden points out that nursing is a great option for students looking for a stable and lucrative career, as registered nurses in the area typically earn $22 to $23 an hour right out of nursing school with only a two-year degree.

“Nursing is a dynamic, multi-faceted field,” said Katie Davison, executive director of Nash UNC Health Care. “You can do one job or 15 jobs during your career because there are so many nursing specialties like surgical nursing or pediatric nursing or emergency department nursing.”

Davison said Nash UNC Health Care hopes to be able to expand the program next year by including Edgecombe Community College in the partnership and offering a total of 30 scholarships to nursing students in both schools.

To qualify for the nurse scholar program, applicants must be enrolled in the nursing program at Nash Community College, have a 3.0 grade point average, provide two letters of recommendation, and submit a personal statement about their commitment to nursing.



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“I think this program solidifies a partnership we have had with Nash UNC Health Care for decades,” said Trent Morhbutter, vice president for instruction and chief academic officer for Nash Community College. “I think this program also speaks to the quality of graduates we produce.”