Loyola University Gets $4M To Educate More Minority Nurses

Loyola’s Health Sciences campus in Maywood, where the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is located. | File

Saturday, May 21, 2022 || By Community Editor || @maywoodnews 

Loyola University Chicago’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing in Maywood recently received a $4 million endowment from the Sisters of the Resurrection to support scholarships for members of underrepresented groups aspiring to become nurses.

The endowment will go to the institution’s CARE (Collaboration, Access, Resources, and Equity) Pathway, a program created last year with state and federal funds and with the “goal of increasing the recruitment of Black and Latinx students and faculty to Loyola’s [Bachelor of Science in Nursing] program, school officials said in a May 18 statement.

Lorna Finnegan, the dean of Loyola’s nursing school, said the $4 million endowment will allow the college to provide financial support beyond those state and federal grant sources.

The Sisters of the Resurrection is a religious institution of women founded in Rome in 1891.

“The CARE Pathway will be a lasting partnership between Loyola University Chicago and the Sisters of the Resurrection, demonstrating impact for many generations,” said Finnegan.

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Loyola officials said a “distinguishing feature of the CARE Pathway is a pipeline program created in partnership with Loyola’s Arrupe College, an accessible, two-year degree program that mostly enrolls first-generation students of color from in and around the Chicago area.

“Through this partnership with Arrupe College, students begin their nursing foundation courses while they are enrolled in  Arrupe College and can earn their BSN in just five years. Since its creation, the CARE Pathway has enrolled 22 students and expanded beyond Arrupe College to serve other underrepresented students at Loyola.”

Loyola officials said the need for more nurses of color is particularly critical. Only 6% of Illinois nurses are Latinx, a minority group that accounts for nearly 18% of the state’s population, and only 9% of the state’s nurses are Black, a group that comprises 15% of the state’s population, according to 2020 U.S. Census and Illinois Nursing Workforce Survey data.

“Improving diversity in the nursing workforce is a growing need both locally and nationally,” Loyola officials said. “According to the ‘Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity,’ patients from diverse backgrounds have better outcomes when cared for by registered nurses of their own race or ethnicity.”

“Creating a more diverse nursing workforce that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of communities served is a tangible and essential step toward achieving the far-reaching goal of reducing health disparities and inequities,” said Lee Schmidt, Niehoff’s executive associate dean of Academic Affairs.

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