News Release: NACHC Partners with WGU, 10/28/10

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News Brief - 10/28/10

NACHC Partners with Western Governors University to Enhance Educational Opportunities for Community Health Center Nurses

WGU to Offer Tuition Discounts and Scholarships to Employees of NACHC’s Member Community Health Centers

Salt Lake City — The National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), www.nachc.com, and Western Governors University, www.wgu.edu, are joining forces to make educational opportunities more affordable and accessible for nurses and health care workers in community health centers nationwide. The “Growing From Within” partnership has been established to provide community health center employees and directors with high quality nursing and health care management degree programs intended to meet the ongoing education and administrative leadership needs for future workforce development.

The partnership provides the following benefits to employees of NACHC’s member community health centers:

  • 5 percent tuition discount
  • Application fee waiver
  • Eligibility to apply for the NACHC-WGU Community Health Scholarship — WGU will award 15 scholarships valued at up to $2,000

Western Governors University offers an all-online, competency-based RN to BSN program as well as master’s degrees in Nursing Leadership and Management and Nursing Education. Designed for working nurses, the CCNE-accredited programs allow students to work at their own pace and on a schedule that fits into their lives. Rather than attending traditional classes and earning credit hours, students are engaged in self-paced learning and must demonstrate their knowledge and competency through a series of assessments. Degree requirements have been developed in collaboration with the health care industry to ensure that nursing graduates have all the necessary competencies for their online degree. Each student is assigned a mentor, who acts as coach and guide throughout the degree program. Tuition at non-profit WGU is affordable at $3,250 per six-month term ($3,088 for NACHC employees), and financial aid is available.

“With the rapidly changing economy and the continuing changes in health care in the country, we know we must be able to develop, attract, and retain great nurses to meet the needs of our centers,” said NACHC President and CEO Tom Van Coverden. “This partnership provides our nurses with a flexible, affordable option for completing their bachelor’s or master’s degrees. And, more importantly, by advancing the education of our nurses, we will improve the overall quality of patient care in the communities served by our health centers.”

WGU will award 15 NACHC scholarships. The scholarship program is competitive, and awards will be based on the candidate’s academic record, readiness for online study at WGU, and financial need. Scholarships will be awarded at the rate of $500 per six-month term for up to four terms. For more information, go to www.wgu.edu/nachc or call 1-866-225-5948 (866-CALL-WGU).