On Wednesday, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso officials thanked Wells Fargo for a generous contribution in support of addressing the community’s critical nursing shortage.
At an event on campus, Wells Fargo announced a grant of $25,000 to help students attending TTUHSC El Paso’s Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing achieve their dream of graduating with a nursing degree.
“Having access to these funds is so valuable to the students and to us,” said Stephanie Woods, Ph.D., M.S.N., dean of the Hunt School of Nursing. “It allows us to extend them a lifeline so that they do not get derailed in their plan to graduate.”
Dr. Woods said the Hunt School of Nursing has already given out three grants through the program to students in need of financial assistance.
“Hopefully, the students who are receiving these funds can use them to bridge the gap and accelerate through their nursing programs so that they don’t have to put a pause on their education,” said Ryan McGrath, Wells Fargo Area Business Banking Manager. “They can finish the program and stay here in El Paso to provide vital and critical nursing care for our community.”
The money will provide a safety net for students facing financial challenges and unforeseen circumstances.
Events such as a death in the family, a sudden major illness, or theft or damage to personal property can often force students to delay or even completely abandon their nursing education. Even with planning ahead, Hunt nursing students face about a $4,000 gap in financial aid each semester just for tuition, fees, books and supplies.
Additionally, they have to figure out how to cover basic living expenses often for their entire family they are supporting. The Wells Fargo grant will help students stay on track so they can earn their degrees and join El Paso’s nursing workforce.
The state of Texas is projected to face a shortfall of nearly 16,000 registered nurses (R.N.s) and 33,500 licensed practical/vocational nurses (LPNs) by 2030, according to a 2017 report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
An aging baby boomer population, increasing rates of health issues such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and an emphasis on preventative care are some of the major drivers of the nationwide demand for nursing professionals.
“Thanks to the generosity of community partners like Wells Fargo, nursing students will stay on track to earn their degrees and cross the finish line into the workforce,” school officials added. “Grants like this help increase the percentage of students who graduate on time, helping to reduce the shortage of nursing professionals in the Paso del Norte region.”