JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Bower Foundation announced a $3.8 million dollar grant on Monday to create healthcare administrators and community college nursing educators by providing graduate education for 64 registered nurses through the RN-to-MSN program at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) in Jackson.

The project, Building a Strong Future for Nursing in Mississippi, will also spread the School of Nursing leadership development program statewide and will provide online resources for nursing educators in the state’s community colleges.

“The grant investments of the Bower Foundation seek to benefit health and health care outcomes in our state,” said Anne Travis, Bower Foundation CEO. “This grant to UMMC for the benefit of community college nursing faculty and students statewide will build nurse educator and nurse manager capacity in Mississippi.”

Leaders said the grant will address the need for additional nursing educators at the state’s community colleges by providing full tuition and a stipend to registered nurses with associate degrees entering UMMC’s Master of Science in Nursing program for RNs.

Of the 64 scholarships awarded, 32 will be in the MSN nursing education track, and 32 will go to incoming students in the MSN nursing and health care administrator track. The scholarships will be awarded to incoming RN-to-MSN students in 2022 and 2023. Each student will also receive a stipend and funding to purchase a laptop computer meeting program specifications.

Nurses will be nominated for the scholarships by the community colleges from which they graduated. Participating community colleges are Coahoma, East Central, East Mississippi, Hinds, Holmes, Itawamba, Jones, Meridian, Mississippi Delta, Mississippi Gulf Coast, Northeast Mississippi, Northwest Mississippi, Pearl River and Southwest community colleges.