John L. Dickinson Family Awards $500,000 Challenge Grant to West Virginia State University

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
Sept. 5, 2018
John L. Dickinson Family Awards $500,000 Challenge Grant to West Virginia State University
Funds Will Support Creation of New Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – The John L. Dickinson Family has awarded West Virginia State University (WVSU) a $500,000 matching grant to support the University’s new nursing program.

Planned to launch in the fall of 2019, the nursing program will offer a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), and a RN to BSN program for registered nurses with an associate’s degree seeking to complete their BSN.

“We are grateful for the Dickinson Family’s investment in our new nursing program, as this commitment will enable us to meet our goal of launching the program in fall 2019,” said WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins. “This program will fill a critical need in our state and nation for qualified nursing professionals.”

According to the American Nurses Association, by 2022 there will be a need for 3.44 million nurses, a 20.2 percent increase compared with current levels. In West Virginia, 50 of West Virginia’s 55 counties are federally designated, either in part or full, as Health Professional Shortage Areas or Medically Underserved Areas. Many rural clinics are operated primarily by nurses and other allied health professionals.

“West Virginia State University’s nursing program is in line with the mission of Dickinson Family Fund to support the social welfare, education and health care of those in Kanawha and surrounding counties,” said Nancy Bruns, a partner in J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works and a member of the Dickinson Family. “We are excited to help in launching this new program because we know the health care needs of the area are so great.”

The grant from the John L. and Maude H. Dickinson Family Fund at the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is being given as a matching challenge grant.

The funds will be used to renovate and equip office, classroom and laboratory space, and support salaries for nursing faculty and administrative support.

The grant will enable WVSU to have the resources needed to launch the program in 2019 and will be used to leverage additional investments from area health care organizations and community leaders to provide ongoing support for the nursing program and its students.

Approved in August by the West Virginia State University Board of Governors, the nursing program still requires approval from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and the Higher Learning Commission, the University’s accrediting body.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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