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Penn’s School of Nursing was awarded a $1 million grant to address the nursing workforce shortage. Credit: Gary Lin

Penn’s School of Nursing was awarded a $1 million grant from the Bedford Falls Foundation to address the nursing workforce shortage.

The grant will support 40 students with both strong merit and financial need pursuing their master of professional nursing degree at Penn for a four-year period. Each year, 10 students will be chosen to receive this support, earning them the distinction of being “Conway Scholars.”

The Bedford Falls Foundation was established by philanthropists William and Joanne Conway. 

“Our country continues to grapple with a nursing shortage which is only projected to get worse as the need for healthcare grows,” William Conway said in a statement to the School of Nursing. “We are excited to partner with Penn Nursing in supporting high quality nursing education and training.”

The MPN program offers an accelerated 15-month full-time curriculum for students with non-nursing undergraduate degrees who want to pursue nursing and obtain RN licenses in 11 MSN specialties

Nursing School Dean Antonia Villarruel emphasized the pivotal role such contributions play in making a world-class education accessible to all students. 

“Penn Nursing is incredibly grateful for the generous support from the Conways and the Bedford Falls Foundation," Villarruel said. "A commitment like theirs helps make a world-class education available for all students by minimizing their debt burden.”

The MPN program builds skills in population health, health equity, interprofessional collaboration, care transitions, and systems thinking. It aims to help graduates advocate for improved health care for diverse populations.

“This grant will help us prepare the next generation of nurse leaders to meet our country’s changing health and health care needs,” Villarruel said.

Applications to the Nursing School's MPN Program recently opened for the inaugural fall 2024 cohort, in which 90 to 95 students will be enrolled. 

“Penn has had a long tradition of being a leading school in the field of nursing and this new program is one more way in improving nursing education and the opportunity to help the health of the public,” Julie Sochalski, associate dean for academic programs at the Nursing School, said.