The Montgomery County Community College Nursing Program has received $38,247 from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) through its annual Nurses for Tomorrow Scholarship grant. This is the largest sum the College has received from the grant in more than five years.
The Nurses for Tomorrow program awards grants to nursing schools in southeastern Pennsylvania to fund scholarships for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral nursing students. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $12 million in Nurses for Tomorrow grants to 24 nursing schools, which provided scholarships to nearly 3,000 nursing students.
MCCC Nursing students who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher in the clinical component of the program, and have not repeated a Nursing program course are eligible to receive the scholarship, said Linda Roy, Director of the Nursing Program, who herself is a past recipient of the scholarship when she was in her doctoral program. Eligible students must write an essay to the MCCC scholarship selection committee on how they intend to use the money for their education and related expenses and a second essay at the end of the semester about how the award helped them personally. Each student is eligible to receive up to $2,500, which will be distributed during the fall semester. This year, 19 students in the clinical component of the program are eligible for the scholarship. The Foundation is not involved in the selection process.
MCCC received a significant increase in funding from the Foundation this year. This year’s generous award came as an incredible surprise, said Roy.
“I think this is tremendous,” she said. “This rewards students in the Nursing program who have successfully completed clinical coursework. Maintaining a 3.4 GPA in Nursing is not an easy task. Plus it’s a reward for students who have managed to do so without having to repeat a nursing course.”
Approximately 230 students are currently enrolled in MCCC’s Nursing program, which recently received full reaccreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The decision allows the program to graduate students that are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), which students must pass in order to become licensed registered nurses.
MCCC’s Nursing Program students led the way on the NCLEX-RN, with a first time pass rate of 97.1 percent. By comparison, the national first time pass rate is 89.25 percent. In order for the Nursing Program to maintain approval status from the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing students taking the exam must obtain a first time pass rate of 80 percent.
MCCC graduates go on to work in a variety of healthcare settings after graduation including area hospitals, rehabilitation centers, mental health facilities and home care operations, to name a few.