Three women and one man holding a certificate and smiling

Saint Vincent Hospital gives $10,000 for new nursing scholarships at Worcester State

April 3, 2024
By: Deborah Alvarez O'Neil

Saint Vincent Hospital has announced a $10,000 sponsorship for Worcester State’s highly regarded baccalaureate nursing program to strengthen the local nursing pipeline. The sponsorship will support five $2,000 scholarships for nursing students in their senior year.

“We are very pleased that our community partner Saint Vincent Hospital is willing to support our students in their journey to become bachelor-prepared RNs,” said Dr. Linda Larrivee, dean of the School of School of Science, Technology and Health. “Most of our nursing graduates go on to live and provide outstanding care right here in Worcester. That’s a great thing for the community, for Saint Vincent’s, and for Worcester State. We are extremely grateful for this gift, which will help us to continue to graduate our highly skilled nurses to meet the demands of our local community, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and beyond.”

The sponsorship demonstrates Saint Vincent’s commitment to investing in the future of Worcester State University’s education for tomorrow’s nurses, said Saint Vincent CEO Caroyln Jackson at the Tuesday announcement, joined by dozens of Worcester State graduates who serve in nursing and leadership roles at the hospital and Dave Garvin, manager of Workforce Programs for the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“We know that our Worcester State grads are well prepared for the workforce and they go on to quite successful careers in healthcare and beyond,” Jackson said. “Today we’re focused on the nursing grads and the nursing students at Worcester State. We feel that maintaining strong partnerships between hospitals and colleges is essential to boosting enrollment in nursing education and also to helping with recruitment and ensuring appropriate placement for nursing grads. This sponsorship will help address the nursing shortage in Massachusetts, and it’s a testament to the confidence we have in Worcester State University to educate high quality future nurses.”

Massachusetts – like the rest of the United States – is facing a dire nursing workforce shortage. Nurse vacancy rates in acute-care hospitals doubled from 2019 to 2022, with especially high vacancy rates in community hospitals, Jackson noted.

“In building a longer-term pipeline through investing in Worcester State University’s Nursing program we will help meet the demand for nursing talent,” Jackson said. “The partnership can serve as a mechanism for nurses to develop across Saint Vincent and for nursing students to use the knowledge and skills learned, optimize their potential to practice, and enhance lifelong-learning.”

Worcester State University’s Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing was recently ranked #1 in Massachusetts based on the 2017-2021 pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses, the test all nurses must pass to be licensed. Using their methodology, Worcester State’s NCLEX score was the highest among the 20 public and private schools included in the ranking. Worcester State’s NCLEX pass rates have consistently exceeded the statewide pass rate.

Worcester State University President Barry Maloney noted the university’s long-standing partnership with Saint Vincent Hospital, which included standing up a community vaccination clinic during the pandemic.

“Worcester State is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, and along with Saint Vincent’s, is a pillar in our community,” he said. “We’ve been working together and problem solving for decades and now we continue that partnership coming out of COVID. We are joining together to take on the next issue, which, of course, is the healthcare workforce shortage that we find ourselves in. We’re so very grateful to partner with Saint Vincent Hospital. We’re very grateful that they chose to invest in our nursing program. We hope that investment and that collaboration continues for many years to come.”

Top Photo: Associate Dean of Nursing Catherine Thomas, Dean Linda Larrivee, and President Barry Maloney with Saint Vincent CEO Carolyn Jackson on April 2 for the announcement of a $10,000 gift for nursing scholarships. Photo by Nancy Sheehan

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