UR School of Nursing, Medical Center Extend Free Tuition Program for Employees

  By Patrick Broadwater
  Tuesday, February 8, 2022 9:36 AM
  Masters, Nursing Education, Staff, Students, Bachelors, RN Completion, Health Care Management, Clinical Nurse Leader

The University of Rochester School of Nursing, in partnership with nursing practice at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), has extended a free tuition program for UR nurses for another two years.

The UR School of Nursing Tuition Grant supplements UR employee tuition benefits to provide 100 percent tuition coverage in select bachelor’s, master’s, and post-master’s programs. Open to eligible University of Rochester employees, the grant is available for new students in the following programs:

The grant was first implemented in 2019 as a pilot program but was slated to end later this year. The extension will cover new students who matriculate and begin their degree program no later than the summer 2024 semester.

skills lab instructionMore than 500 URMC nurses and health care professionals have enrolled and benefitted from the grant since its inception.

 “The School of Nursing Tuition Grant has helped me tremendously,” said Ashley Singley, MS, RN-BC, a med-surg nurse at Strong Memorial Hospital who joined the UR School of Nursing faculty after graduating with a master’s in nursing education degree in 2021. “I feel like I would have had to pick up a lot of overtime if I didn’t have the tuition grant. It helped me get to where I wanted to be a lot faster because I didn’t have to worry about any financial hardships when I was doing the program.

“It’s just crazy to me that I have a master’s degree that I didn’t pay for.”

“The [grant] really helped a lot,” said Dwight Hettler, MS, RN, OCN, NE-BC, director of nursing at the Wilmot Cancer Center, who is enrolled in the Clinical Nurse Leader to Doctor of Nursing Practice program. “It made the difference, really, between being able to attend or not attend, for me.”

“We believe strongly in supporting the ongoing education of University of Rochester nurses and health care providers, so we are delighted that so many have taken advantage of this opportunity so far,” said Kathy Rideout, EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, dean of the UR School of Nursing. “Extending this program and providing additional opportunities for our hard-working clinicians and leaders to meet the increasing educational needs of the job without incurring any tuition costs was really a no-brainer.”

Full-time UR employees eligible for University tuition benefits must be accepted and enrolled in classes no later than the start of the summer 2024 semester to receive the grant, which is equal to 5 to 15 percent of tuition for two courses per semester. Part-time employees eligible for tuition benefits can receive the grant for one course per semester.

New full-time hires who enroll in a program will receive a 100 percent grant from the School of Nursing for one course per semester until they become eligible for tuition benefits. The limited-time grant will be applied only to coursework taken at the UR School of Nursing.

In addition to supporting the academic journeys of individual nurses, the grant was devised to bolster the strength of the workforce as a whole at Strong Memorial Hospital and other URMC facilities. By removing the financial barriers to degree programs, the grant aims to spur more nurses to pursue additional education to enhance their clinical practice, as well as prepare themselves for career advancement and positions of leadership.

“Removing barriers to help our staff achieve their educational goals is what this program is all about,” said Karen Keady, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, vice president and chief nursing executive at URMC. “We want our staff to take advantage of these incredible academic programs at our school and to make the most of all the unique benefits that only come from working as a nurse at the University of Rochester.”

To apply or learn more about the UR School of Nursing Tuition Grant, visit the UR Nursing website.