Date of Release: July 3, 2014
BANGOR, MAINE – Husson University announced today that it has received a $75,000 grant from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Under the terms of the grant, 36 low-income, first generation undergraduate students enrolled in Husson’s School of Nursing will be eligible for scholarships of $1,000 - $2,000 each year for up to three years.
Scholarships like these are important to the success of students. Low-income undergraduate students working toward their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) often face significant economic challenges. It is not unusual for these hardworking students to hold one or more jobs as they pursue their studies; decreasing the amount of time they can devote to classroom and experiential learning.
“The scholarships made possible by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation will supplement Husson’s institutional aid and help aspiring nurses pay for college. Reducing the need to work gives students the opportunity to devote more time to their education. The grant will help our students focus on their education, graduate on time and deliver high quality healthcare as part of the workforce. This is especially important for Maine residents in underserved rural areas,” says Robert A. Clark, Ph.D., president and CEO of Husson University.
The need for healthcare professionals in rural Maine continues to exceed available resources. According to Healthy People 2020, there are 61 designated Health Provider Shortage areas in our state.
In addition, Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that state residents face significant morbidity and mortality risk from multiple chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and lung disease. The percentage of people with these conditions in Maine is higher than the overall U.S. population. In fact, these four chronic conditions alone are the cause of death of approximately 70 percent of Maine residents.
Addressing this situation will require more nurses. A growing body of evidence compiled by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that nurses lower mortality rates and contribute to overall better patient outcomes.
Unfortunately, America does not have enough of these valuable healthcare professionals. A shortage of registered nurses is projected across the United States through the year 2030 .
The projected shortage of nurses will, in all likelihood, be worse in Maine than other parts of the country. According to the State of Maine’s Nursing Workforce Strategic Plan 2012-2020, nearly half (48 percent) of all registered nurses in Maine are over age 51 and only 57 percent of them plan to be working in Maine in five years. With the health of individuals, families and communities at stake, the need for more nurses is critical as more professionals reach retirement.
Graduates of Husson University’s BSN program have the skills and education necessary to deliver high quality healthcare. Their knowledge and expertise can be utilized to improve patient outcomes in our state. Newly released U.S. Census figures show Maine has the highest median age of any state in the country. In developing new nurses, Husson is doing its part to help alleviate the coming shortage of healthcare professionals in our state and meet the healthcare needs of our growing senior citizen population.
For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.