ALEXANDRIA, La – The Louisiana State University of Alexandria Department of Nursing announced today that it is the recipient of a $435,000 award from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation.
Over the three-year award period, LSUA will utilize the funds to provide scholarship opportunities to students committed to work as a registered nurse in CENLA.
“Nurses and other front-line health professionals are critical to ensuring the health of Louisiana in normal times, and that is even more evident today in light of COVID-19” said Michael Tipton, President of the Blue Cross Foundation. “We are impressed by partners like Roy O. Martin and LSUA working together with the local hospitals to address this problem thoughtfully. This grant, in partnership with the funds they have already allocated, will provide scholarship for more students to enter nurse training, resources to help them persevere and other supports to help them find their way to roles in places where they are most needed throughout Central Louisiana.”
Additionally, funds will be used to hire a full-time nursing faculty member to serve as a Student Success Coordinator to provide academic support to any struggling nursing student.
“We are thankful for the commitment from the Foundation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana to combat the critical nursing shortage right here in Central Louisiana,” said Dr. Cathy Cormier, Chair of the LSUA Department of Nursing. “The end goal is directed at empowering students to persist and finish the nursing program. Increasing persistence to complete a degree in nursing will lead to an increase in the number of nursing graduates prepared for the healthcare workforce. Strategies for increasing retention and completion will complement the CENLA Nurses for the Future program and positively impact the life course of individual nursing students.”
For over 60 years, LSUA has educated registered nurses for entry into practice and strived to meet the workforce demands of the region. Because of this, the nursing program has developed a strong reputation in the community for excellence in nursing education.
“The importance of trained nurses serving the healthcare needs of Central Louisiana has become more focused during the COVID-19 Pandemic. With strong support from CENLA healthcare leaders and from BCBS Foundation, LSUA is in a much better position to recruit and train additional nurses that can enter the workforce and provide the critically needed care we all want and need,” said LSUA Chancellor Dr. Paul Coreil.