Thomas Edison State College has received $700,000 in grants that will enable it to provide scholarships to about 50 nursing students over the next three years. They will participate in an intensive one-year program that addresses a looming nurse shortage in New Jersey — as older nurses retire and aging baby boomers need more medical care.Filomela Marshall is dean of the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing at Thomas Edison State College, which has received a grant of $650,000 from the Helene Fuld Health Trust and a grant of $50,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program.
Marshall explained that the scholarships are for its accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program, which is for adults who already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and want to become registered nurses. The one-year program combines online and classroom-based courses at the Trenton-based college with clinical training at Capital Health facilities in Trenton and Hopewell to prepare graduates for the National Council Licensure Exam for RNs.
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Marshall said the Fuld scholarships will be widely available to potential students, while the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant provides five $10,000 scholarships aimed at increasing the diversity of the nursing workforce.
Marshall said the demographics of the aging population are expected to create more demand for nurses in the future while, at the same time, changes in the delivery of health care will impact the nursing workforce.
“With the changes in health care delivery, health care is moving outside the walls of the hospital,” she said, creating demand for nurses in primary care, in the home and in the community.
Hospitals will continue to be a crucial part of health care, but “Care will be delivered in different ways.”
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