Nursing School Receives Historical Funding Gift, and More Nursing News

Nursing students in scrubs attend class at nursing school

The College of Nursing at Penn State University receives a historical funding gift of more than $27 million from longtime supporters Ross and Carol Nese. Officials with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) recently hosted the organization’s annual awards ceremony to recognize its excellence award winners from both 2020 and 2021. Read on for more nursing news and insights.

Nursing school receives historical funding gift

Longtime supporters of the College of Nursing at Penn State University have pledged more than $27 million to enhance education at the university, school officials have announced.

The gift by Ross and Carol Nese is reportedly the largest ever for the nursing school and the second-largest single commitment to an academic unit in Penn State’s history. It will be coupled with $17.9 million in matching funds from Penn State, providing a combination of endowed and outright funding for scholarships, faculty and program support, and facilities and equipment. The gift will be celebrated at a naming ceremony in August and the program will be renamed the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing.

“Penn State is deeply grateful to Ross and Carol for their remarkably generous and timely gift,” said Eric J. Barron, Penn State’s president “There is no better way for us to fulfill our land-grant mission of serving the public good than to prepare new nurses to join that critical workforce — and the Neses’ gift will allow the College of Nursing to dramatically increase the number of healthcare professionals who graduate from Penn State each year, prepared to meet the needs of patients and communities.

Ross Nese is a founder and board member of Grane Healthcare, which manages long-term care facilities throughout Pennsylvania.

“The Neses’ gift will be profoundly transformational for the college,” said Laurie Badzek, dean of the College of Nursing. “I know they share our deep concern about the nursing shortage that has been developing in our country for some time and recognize the significant and growing role that nurses with excellent preparation play in the delivery of outstanding health care.

“Bolstered by their visionary philanthropy, Penn State can really make a difference for the field of nursing — not only because of the number of nurses we graduate, but also because they will be graduating from one of the nation’s finest nursing programs, where the mission is to create nurse leaders.”

The gift will spur growth and enhance programming across nearly every aspect of the college’s operations, university officials said. The main elements of the commitment include:

  • Undergraduate and graduate scholarships to help attract the most promising students, enable them to focus on their studies with fewer external work commitments, and leave them with less debt upon graduation;
  • Infrastructure and technology support to increase the college’s physical space and acquire new equipment, especially high-tech equipment in the classroom and for simulation, allowing students to extend clinical learning in novel ways;
  • Innovation funds to provide seed funding for new ideas for teaching, research, outreach, and entrepreneurial endeavors for faculty- and student-driven ideas; and
  • A program endowment that can be directed by the dean, as needed, to a range of priorities for both faculty and students, in areas such as professorships and fellowships, teaching awards, recruitment, research start-up funding, conferences, study abroad, and student leadership programs.

What’s in a degree? Explore the requirements in the course A Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing Science: The Minimum Entry Level for Nursing Practice.

NCSBN names 2020 & 2021 award winners

Officials with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) recently hosted the organization’s annual awards ceremony to recognize its excellence award winners from both 2020 and 2021.

Kim Glazier, MEd, RN, executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Nursing, was chosen for the 2021 honoree for the R. Louise McManus Award. Individuals receiving this award have made sustained and significant contributions through the highest commitment and dedication to the mission and vision of the NCSBN.

NCSBN awardees for 2020 included:

  • Lori Scheidt, MBA-HCM, executive director of the Missouri State Board of Nursing, who also earned the R. Louise McManus Award.
  • Carmen A. Catizone, MS, DPh, RPh, former executive director/secretary of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, received the Founders Award, an award given only upon occasion that an individual with ethics, integrity, and sincerity has demonstrated the highest regard for the ideals and beliefs upon which NCSBN was founded.
  • Elizabeth Lund, MSN, RN, former executive director of the Tennessee State Board of Nursing, also received the Founders Award.
  • Adrian Guerrero, CPM, board staff with the Kansas State Board of Nursing, received the Meritorious Service Award, which is granted to a member for significant contributions to the mission and vision of NCSBN.
  • Patricia Sharpnack, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN, board member (recent past president) of the Ohio Board of Nursing, was given the Elaine Ellibee Award that is granted to a member who has served as a board president within the past two years and who has made significant contributions to NCSBN.
  • Mary A. Baroni, PhD, RN, board member of the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, received the Exceptional Contribution Award, which is given for significant contribution by a member who is not a president or executive officer and has demonstrated support of NCSBN’s mission.

Additionally, the North Carolina Board of Nursing was awarded the Regulatory Achievement Award that recognizes the member board or associate member that has made an identifiable, significant contribution to the mission and vision of NCSBN in promoting public policy related to the safe and effective practice of nursing in the interest of public welfare.

More information on the award winners can be found online.

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