The largest single gift in the nursing school's history will support the enrollment of more than a thousand students over ten years, boosting the number of transfer students into the BS in Nursing program and tripling that of RN-to-BSN students — practicing registered nurses with associate's degrees who are pursuing a baccalaureate degree. The gift also will provide a flexible pool for scholarships designed to reduce nursing student debt, the hiring of educational specialists and community recruiters to help scholarship recipients from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds succeed, and the development of an accelerated curriculum that enables students to complete their bachelor's degrees in two years instead of three. In addition, the Mary Morton Parsons Clinical Simulation Learning Center, which gives students and healthcare professionals access to a variety of safe, realistic clinical simulations, will be expanded to accommodate more high-tech simulation offerings.
Previous gifts from the Conways totaling $15 million supported and helped expand the Clinical Nurse Leader program and established the Clinical Nurse Leader Conway Scholars program.
"This extraordinary gift will have a dramatic impact at UVA, and well beyond," said Pam Cipriano, dean of the School of Nursing and the Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing. "In addition to allowing a broader and more diverse body of students to pursue bachelor’s degrees, it will help meet a critical need for BSN-prepared nurses throughout the commonwealth and the nation. Study after study has confirmed that patients receive safer care and have better health outcomes when cared for by nurses with a BSN. A baccalaureate degree also offers career and economic mobility for nurses and the opportunity for future advanced practice training."
"Joanne and I believe that increasing the number of nurses in our nation is a lasting solution to the challenges facing our healthcare system," said Bill Conway. "We are honored to partner with the UVA School of Nursing to open doors to more students pursuing careers in nursing, and to significantly increase the number of BSN-prepared nurses across the nation."
(Photo credit: University of Virginia)