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Penn Nursing Receives $1 Million Grant to Support Nursing Education

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) has received a $1 million grant from the Bedford Falls Foundation – DAF, a donor-advised fund established by Philanthropists William (Bill) E. Conway Jr., co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group, and his wife, Joanne. The couple have given millions to support nursing education and scholarships to address the nation’s nursing workforce shortage.

The $1 million grant to Penn Nursing will support a total of 40 high-merit, high-need students over a four-year period who are enrolled in Penn Nursing’s Master of Professional Nursing (MPN)* degree program. Ten students will be selected every year to receive this support and they will be known as Conway Scholars.

“Penn Nursing is incredibly grateful for the generous support from the Conways and the Bedford Falls Foundation. A commitment like theirs helps make a world-class education available for all students by minimizing their debt burden,” said Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel. “This grant will help us prepare the next generation of nurse leaders to meet our country’s changing health and health care needs.”

“Our country continues to grapple with a nursing shortage which is only projected to get worse as the need for healthcare grows. We are excited to partner with Penn Nursing in supporting high quality nursing education and training. We are certain that reducing the financial burden placed on nursing students will help combat this critical shortage,” said Bill Conway.

The MPN is an accelerated, fast-paced 15-month full-time program for students with a non-nursing undergraduate degree who want to pursue a nursing degree and attain an RN license. The four-semester plan of study sequentially builds robust skills in population health, health equity, interprofessional collaboration, care transitions, and systems thinking to advocate for better health care. The program leverages its rich academic partnerships with regional clinical sites to provide the experiential foundation required for nurses to play leading roles in delivering high quality and accessible care across varied settings and populations.

*In July 2023, it was announced that beginning with the class of 2025, Penn Nursing will be transitioning from the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program to the new entry-level MPN degree program. The first cohort of Conway Scholars, graduating in 2024, will be comprised of students enrolled in the final ABSN program.