ST. BONAVENTURE, NY — The $200,000 Workforce Development Initiative grant that the university received Sept. 15 will provide tuition and books for five students in the university’s RN to BSN nursing program over a two-year period.
Special focus is on attracting veterans, single parents and persons over 55, St. Bonaventure’s Founding Director of Nursing Connie J. Perkins. Applicants must be “associate-prepared registered nurses” with active licenses who live or work in Cattaraugus County.
WDI’s Unemployed/Underemployed Worker Training Program, which was established to provide occupational skills training to unemployed or underemployed people to qualify them for full- or part-time employment or, if currently employed, a higher level of employment.
Traditionally, Workforce Development Initiative grants are awarded to employers. St. Bonaventure’s Founding Director of Nursing Connie J. Perkins and others in St. Bonaventure’s nursing program, however, made the case when they submitted the proposal that the program helps nurses local to Cattaraugus County earn baccalaureate degrees and full-time jobs.
“My part was a lot of wordsmithing [the application] to show that our program improved the workforce in our community,” Perkins explained in an email to TAPinto Greater Olean. “We made the case that helping local nurses earn a baccalaureate degree through us would strengthen our workforce in Cattaraugus County.”
Students can apply by reaching out to Perkins directly or by visiting http://sbu.edu/academics/nursing.
As of Sept. 23, scholarship recipients had not been selected.
Perkins said she hopes the money will be made available to the program by January for the next possible window for enrollment and that the scholarships will go a long way in promoting the program to prospective students.
“This grant will greatly support the RN-BSN program at SBU to help us get the word out about our program, especially during a time when COVID-19 is all that is talked about,” Perkins said. “We anticipate that this grant will help us attract new students to our program, and we hope who we select will be our champions to continue to spread the word.”
In a university news release issued on Tuesday, Founding Dean of the School of Health Professions Doug Pisano stated, “The significance of this grant, for both the university and the Cattaraugus County community, is the removal of a substantial barrier for committed nurses in our community to increase their education, patient skills and clinical knowledge to offer a higher level of nursing care.”
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