Empowers hospital employees to begin or advance nursing education across health care spectrum
Richmond Heights, Ohio – In 2011, the Northeastern Ohio Healthcare Foundation (NOHF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to furthering osteopathic medical education, created a nursing scholarship program for the employees of University Hospitals (UH) Richmond Medical Center, a campus of UH Regional Hospitals.
Now in its third year, the program annually awards up to seven $3,000 scholarships to empower UH Richmond Medical Center nurses to enhance their expertise, and non-nurses to begin their nursing education. “Candidates must be an employee of UH Richmond Medical Center for at least one year, and they must write a letter explaining their financial need and reasons for moving forward with their nursing education,” says William J. Saar, DPM, Director of Podiatric Medical Education, UH Regional Hospitals and Member, Board of Trustees, Northeastern Ohio Healthcare Foundation.
Candidate applications are reviewed by Dr. Saar and UH Richmond Medical Center’s President, Chief Nursing Officer and Human Resources Manager. “Many of our scholarship students have worked at UH Richmond Medical Center for many years,” says Belinda Groppi, Human Resources Manager, UH Regional Hospitals. “Some are using the scholarship to finish their nursing degree, or to advance it to a Bachelor or Master of Science in Nursing. Others are applying it to become nurse-practitioners or to make a career change – for example, from lab technician – and begin a nursing education.”
Employees who have received the NOHF scholarship are attending area institutions including Ursuline College Breen School of Nursing in Pepper Pike, the nursing program at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland and the Kent State University College of Nursing. Twenty employees have been awarded the NOHF scholarship during the three years the program has been active. Four students will graduate in 2014. “When selecting a scholarship recipient, we look for true dedication to the nursing profession and a desire to return to care for patients at UH Richmond Medical Center or within the University Hospitals system,” says Dr. Saar.Ultimately, the community hospital’s NOHF scholarship program benefits the wellness of the entire community. “There are many dynamic opportunities for our nurses across the health care spectrum, beyond the traditional inpatient hospital setting,” says Jim Williams, RN, MSN, Chief Nursing Officer, UH Richmond Medical Center. “We hire energetic employees at our hospital, and this nursing scholarship program helps us to find and cultivate the excellence of our own staff as it raises the level of clinical practice for every patient throughout the University Hospitals system.”