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Skelly Foundation’s $20,000 Funds 4 BSN to PhD Scholarships

Feb. 16, 2017 | The Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation has given $20,000 to the UAMS College of Nursing to fund four scholarships in the BSN to PhD program.

The scholarships were awarded for the 2016-17 school year to disadvantaged and underrepresented students in the program and allows them to pursue the degree on a full-time basis.

“This gift from the Skelly Foundation addresses a real need in Arkansas, to provide high-quality educational opportunities to nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Jean C. McSweeney, PhD, RN, associate dean of research in the College of Nursing and co-director of the PhD program.

Patricia A. Cowan, PhD, RN, dean of the College of Nursing, said the scholarships provided by the Skelly Foundation will help the College of Nursing introduce more PhD-trained nurses into the nursing profession in a timelier manner.

“The College of Nursing is committed to meet the Institute of Medicine’s 2010 recommendation to provide seamless education progression in order to move students quickly through the pipeline to receive the highest level of education,” said Cowan. “By getting these PhD-trained nurses into the workforce, classrooms and laboratories rapidly, the Skelly Foundation is helping to eradicate some problems caused by the critical need for nursing faculty and researchers across Arkansas.”

The College of Nursing is the only Arkansas nursing college to offer a PhD in nursing. Since its inception in 1997, the program has 53 graduates. Upon completion, graduates are prepared to assume leadership positions in academic and health care settings, conduct research and influence nursing practice and health care delivery.

The Skelly Foundation, based in Florida, provides educational opportunities and medical care to those unable to afford them. Last year, the Skelly Foundation donated $20,000 to four BSN students, allowing them to explore opportunities in geriatric nursing during an eight-week program.

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