As the country honors nurses during National Nurses Week May 6-12, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso is proud of its role in preparing the next generation of nursing professionals. Today TTUHSC El Paso announced a $650,000 grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust that will establish the first endowment for the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing. Funds from the grant will be used to support scholarships for students enrolled in the Hunt School of Nursing’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program.
The $650,000 grant is highly competitive amongst nursing schools across the U.S. The Hunt School of Nursing offers the only accelerated B.S.N. program in the Paso del Norte region and is the only recipient in the region to have ever received a grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust.
The grant includes $520,000 to establish the first scholarship endowment for students in the accelerated program and $35,000 in current use funds to support students with immediate financial needs.
“Just as we study how a student’s GPA and scores on exams can predict risk for failure, we must also study socioeconomic factors that impact a student’s success,” said Stephanie Woods, Ph.D., R.N., dean of the Hunt School of Nursing at TTUHSC El Paso. “We know that unmet financial need is high for our students. We also know that when students work during our rigorous program their risk for academic failure increases. The Helene Fuld endowment allows us to extend students a financial lifeline. This endowment secures the future of scholarships for nursing. The Fuld endowment becomes the cornerstone to creating a safety net for our students to ensure they enter the workforce where they are critically needed. “
A majority of students rely on financial aid to complete nursing school, including Rachel Silver, a Hunt School of Nursing student in the Accelerated B.S.N. program, who received several scholarships throughout the program as well as an emergency grant at one point to help her stay on track toward graduating in May 2020.
“It would have been much more difficult for me to continue my studies without the funding because I would have had to find a job just to make ends meet,” Silver said. “Thanks to scholarships and grants, I am on track to graduate this May. I hope to make a difference as a nurse by bringing a little bit of light in someone’s day, just a small impact that can make them feel better and give hope when needed.”
The state of Texas is projected to face a shortfall of nearly 16,000 registered nurses by 2030, according to a 2017 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. An aging baby boomer population, increasing rates of health issues such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes, as well as the recent COVID-19 pandemic are some of the major drivers of the nationwide demand for nursing professionals.
The Helene Fuld Health Trust is the largest charitable trust in the nation devoted exclusively to supporting student nurses and nursing education. The trust was established in 1951 and awards grants to leading nursing schools and other organizations with innovative programs that develop and expand professional and leadership skills of nursing students, faculty and administration.