BOONE, N.C. — Students from select areas in Western North Carolina will have new opportunities to receive scholarship support for App State’s online RN to BSN program thanks to a recent $150,000 donation from Dogwood Health Trust.
Dogwood Health Trust was established in 2018 to improve the health and well-being of the people and communities of Western North Carolina. It serves the state’s 18 westernmost counties — from Avery to Cherokee — as well as the Qualla Boundary, the home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Through this gift, approximately 60 students will have around half of their annual tuition costs covered, according to Dr. Marie Huff, dean of App State’s Beaver College of Health Sciences.
“We are grateful to Dogwood Health Trust for this critical support,” Huff said. “These scholarships will make it possible for more students to complete their nursing degrees with less financial burden, and create more opportunities for bachelor’s-level trained nurses to serve communities in Western North Carolina.”
Students who reside in the area served by the trust will be eligible to apply for the scholarships. Applications, which will include three required short answer prompts, will be reviewed and scored by a panel of App State faculty members. Special consideration will be given to students from underrepresented communities and those who demonstrate financial need.
“Education, health and wellness, and economic opportunity are key strategic areas at Dogwood Health,” said Dr. Susan Mims, CEO of Dogwood Health Trust, “and all of those priorities are uplifted by our partnership with App State. We are proud to help nurses advance in their careers and to help influence the quality of patient care in Western North Carolina.”
Dr. Kathleen Rayman, chair of App State’s Department of Nursing, echoed Mims’ sentiments: “These scholarships will open doors for nurses from underrepresented communities to seek out these opportunities for education and advancement.”
Supporting the advancement of nurses
“Our program is taught by experienced, full-time faculty members with a proven track record of helping working nurses from rural areas find success,” Rayman said.
The online RN to BSN program allows registered nurses to advance their careers, expand their knowledge base and explore new opportunities within health care, according to Mary Coleman, coordinator of App State’s RN to BSN program.
Coleman said, “This program gives nurses potential access to higher paying positions in clinical nursing and in nursing management and leadership while improving health outcomes in the community.”
Designed for working professionals, the program is fully online and asynchronous. App State offers one-, two- and three-year degree completion options:
- The one-year plan is completed in three semesters and averages 15–20 hours of coursework per week.
- The two-year plan is completed in six semesters and averages 8–10 hours of coursework per week.
- The three-year plan is completed in eight semesters and averages 5–8 hours of coursework per week.
The program focuses on evidence-based practice and cultural, personal and intellectual development, and empowers students to advocate for their patient populations, Coleman said.
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About the Department of Nursing
The Department of Nursing in Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences provides an evidence-based nursing education in an intellectually stimulating and challenging environment that is designed to prepare the beginning nursing professional with the knowledge and skills to practice in diverse settings in a highly complex health care system. The department offers two accredited Bachelor of Science programs: the nursing pre-licensure program and the online RN to BSN program, designed for current registered nurses seeking the bachelor’s degree. The department also offers a Master of Science in nursing program that prepares registered nurses for leadership roles as educators. Learn more at https://nursing.appstate.edu.
About the Beaver College of Health Sciences
Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS), opened in 2010, is transforming the health and quality of life for the communities it serves through interprofessional collaboration and innovation in teaching, scholarship, service and clinical outreach. BCHS offers nine undergraduate degree programs and seven graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Communication Sciences and Disorders; Health and Exercise Science; Nursing; Nutrition and Health Care Management; Recreation Management and Physical Education; and Social Work. The college’s academic programs are located in the Holmes Convocation Center on App State’s main campus and the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, a state-of-the-art, 203,000-square-foot facility that is the cornerstone of the Wellness District. In addition, the college supports the Blue Cross NC Institute for Health and Human Services and has collaborative partnerships with the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Program, the Appalachian Regional Health System and numerous other health agencies. Learn more at https://healthsciences.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.