New scholarships help KSU combat Georgia’s nursing shortage
Two new scholarship programs established in the College of Health and Human Services will help Kennesaw State University combat a critical shortage of nurses around the state for years to come. The scholarships were made possible through financial commitments made by Kaiser Permanente‚ Georgia’s largest nonprofit health plan‚ and Audrey and Jack Morgan‚ longtime friends and supporters of Kennesaw State.
(Sep 18, 2002) — Two new scholarship programs established in the College of Health and Human Services
will help Kennesaw State University combat a critical shortage of nurses around the
state for years to come. The scholarships were made possible through financial commitments
made by Kaiser Permanente‚ Georgia’s largest nonprofit health plan‚ and Audrey and
Jack Morgan‚ longtime friends and supporters of Kennesaw State.
"We’re thrilled that the School of Nursing at KSU was chosen for these scholarships‚" said David Bennett‚ chairman of the School of Nursing. "It’s going to help us tremendously to attract and retain students who want to go into the field of nursing. This is really important at a time when the vacancy rate has reached somewhere between 12−15 percent for registered nurses in local health care institutions."
Through a gift of $25‚000‚ the Audrey and Jack Morgan Foundation has endowed the Audrey Morgan Nursing Scholarship‚ which will benefit undergraduate nursing majors who have a 3.0 grade point average and a demonstrated financial need. A successful businesswoman‚ wife‚ mother and volunteer‚ Audrey Morgan is especially sensitive to the nursing shortage through her service as a member of the DeKalb Medical Center Board of Directors.
"The Morgans' generous gift to KSU was motivated quite simply through Audrey’s first−hand knowledge of current health care issues and a desire to make a difference for people in this community‚" said Kathleen Neitzel‚ associate vice president for development. "Fortunately‚ their success and philanthropic spirit enabled them to do just that. The university is very grateful."
Kaiser Permanente’s gift is part of a $500‚000 state−wide university scholarship initiative involving KSU‚ Clayton College and State University‚ Georgia Perimeter College and Georgia State University. KSU will receive $25‚000 each year for the next five years to assist its nursing majors. Recipients will not be required to work for Kaiser Permanente after graduation. A portion of this $25‚000 award will be set aside each year to fund and endow the Kaiser Permanente Nursing Scholarship‚ and the remainder used to fund approximately eight Kaiser Permanente Annual Scholarships a year.
"The nursing shortage is one of the most pressing issues in health care today and will continue to become even more severe unless we take proactive steps to address this critical problem‚" said Carolyn Kenny‚ president of Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. "Our $500‚000 commitment represents Kaiser Permanente’s response to the growing shortage of nurses in Georgia. By helping nursing students prepare for their roles in the 21st century‚ we are building healthier communities."
A recent report released by the Georgia Hospital Association indicated that the number of vacancies for full−time nursing−related positions in Georgia hospitals has grown more than 38 percent since 1999. Additionally‚ the Department of Labor estimates that Georgia will need 27‚000 new registered nurses between 1996 and 2006 to fill new and existing positions. Georgia ranks 44th out of 51 states (including the District of Columbia) in the number of registered nurses per 100‚000 population.
"We’ve had a long−term relationship with Kaiser Permanente‚ and members of Kaiser’s organization are on our advisory board‚" Bennett noted. "They’ve had an opportunity to see that we’re a quality program and that we are serious about nursing education. I’m very pleased that they have chosen to include us.
"It’s been a good spring semester for us‚" he added‚ referring to both the new scholarships and the Research in Undergraduate Education Award recently bestowed upon the RN to BSN Online Nursing Completion Program by the Georgia Board of Regents. "Obviously‚ we’ve been able to attract some attention and recognition‚ which has been very beneficial for us."
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.