Why it’s urgent
The average debt load of a nursing graduate student is almost $90,000, which is a heavy burden of debt on a typical nurse’s salary. Increasing scholarships (especially at the graduate level) and non-tuition support for students is critical to helping us broadly diversify our study body and the nursing field at-large. We need experts in educational innovation to lead faculty as academic entrepreneurs, ensuring Penn Nursing sets the pace for nursing curricula globally. Finally, we must maintain state-of-the-art classrooms and simulation technologies to support new ways of teaching and learning, and offer unrestricted support for the Dean’s other highest priorities.
What we’re doing
Over half of the recipients of Penn’s university-wide prize for engagement are either Penn Nursing students or mentored by Penn Nursing faculty. In the words of President Gutmann, Penn Nursing prizewinners “tackle timely, consequential challenges with innovative, inspiring solutions.” Our students and faculty are pioneering solutions to crucial issues like the lack of health care access for the homeless, a dearth of after-school programs for teen Latinos, and the short time frame of benefits for the formerly incarcerated after reentry into the community.
The legacy of nutrition pioneer and Penn Nursing alumna JoAnn Nallinger Grant, HUP’62, Nu’72 continues with a new scholarship established in her honor by JoAnn’s husband, Igor Grant, MD, RES’71.
Penn Nursing is developing a new design thinking-focused curriculum targeted toward nurses and nursing students, thanks to a grant from the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation . This exciting curriculum that embraces innovation, which will be a jointly owned and branded curriculum resource, aims to be available to all schools and health care systems—wherever nurses study or practice.
Alaina Hall’s nonprofit project is a nurse-led multi-interventional health-promotion effort that aims to address the global health problem of infectious disease in children. Working in partnership with the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos orphanage in Miacatlán, Mexico, Hall will work to improve health education for children and their caregivers, strengthen infection screening and identification processes, and reduce exposure to infection-causing pathogens by providing filtered water and repairing damage to local sewage structures.
How you can make an impact
Help us to provide funding for the stellar students who cannot afford a Penn education. Undergraduate, graduate, and second-degree term and endowed funding are “evergreen” needs for the School, to provide tuition support across the spectrum of our students—ensuring the best and the brightest have access to a Penn Nursing education regardless of their ability to pay.
Education Innovation Fund:
Help us to continue to graduate the most qualified nurses in the world by endowing a fund for education innovation. The School has identified several evidence-based best practices and state of the art education approaches—which better integrate simulation and interdisciplinary practice in our clinical courses, provide transformative experiences in community settings, and reinvent curriculum to encourage innovation in each and every student from day one. Funds will enable the School to update lab software and provide 3D printing for realistic simulation, answer the demands of a new educational spectrum with online experiences and opportunities for lifelong learning, and continually evaluate the outcomes of our training so that we can pivot toward the most impactful and cutting edge education.
Student Success Fund:
Non-tuition student aid is vital to help students maximize their opportunities for success at Penn. The Student Success Fund would prioritize the financial needs of first generation and under-represented students in an effort to maximize their opportunities for success at Penn. These students often do not have the resources to take advantage of many things that are peripheral to their classwork, yet are essential to a meaningful college experience. Funds defray the costs of extracurricular activities, special study courses, tutoring, supplemental learning opportunities, summer coursework, etc.
Community Partnership Program:
By supporting our Community Partnership Program that embeds Penn Nursing faculty in community health organizations, you help us prepare students to assess and address the impact of social determinants on health and health care, and support community organizations’ capacity to address the health needs of diverse populations. The goal of the Program is threefold: to design and integrate community based practices into clinical education that will increase expert capacity within these organizations; to increase community-based experiences for nursing students; and to develop a pipeline of well-prepared students compelled to use their expertise in community settings both as learners and as future health professionals.
Endow the Nursing/Wharton Dual Degree:
Help us fund the only dual degree program without an endowment, and cultivate leaders in health care and business. Students in this program are of the highest caliber, having gained entry to both the top undergraduate nursing and undergraduate business schools in the world. They graduate prepared for clinical practice as well as analytic and management positions, and represent a powerful combination of clinical nursing and business skills that can change the profession—and healthcare—from leadership positions in their organizations. Supporting this program is a timely opportunity for those want to impact health care at a pivotal point in history. Funding would provide the rigorous dual degree program with endowed salary support for the Program Director, endowed tuition support for students, and annual programmatic support.