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UR Nursing, Medical Center Extend Free Tuition Program for Employees

  By Nora Williamson
  Friday, January 26, 2024

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 year.

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 advanced certificate programs. More than 675 URMC nurses and health care professionals have enrolled and benefited from the grant since its inception in 2019.

“The beauty of this program is that we’re not just opening doors, but we’re revolutionizing the future of nursing in our health care system. Our commitment goes beyond providing tuition-free education; it’s about supporting the full potential of our nurses toward earning their bachelor’s or master’s degrees,” said Dean Lisa Kitko, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN.

“By investing in the success of our nurses, we are directly enhancing the quality of care for our community, ensuring that every patient receives the most compassionate, knowledgeable, and advanced care possible.”

                  - Dean Lisa Kitko, PhD, RN, FAHA, FAAN

Open to eligible University of Rochester employees, the grant is available for new students in the following programs:

  • RN to BS Online program – for associates or diploma-prepared nurses who want to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing.

  • Clinical Nurse Leader master’s program – for nurses who want to take on or expand a leadership role, specifically to improve patient care at the point of care delivery or put evidence-based practice into action. Advanced certificate program also available.

  • Nursing Education master’s program – for nurses who want to transition to a teaching role, either as a nurse educator or in patient safety and education. Advanced certificate program also available.

  • Leadership in Health Care Systems master’s program — for all health care professionals who want to advance their health care career and learn best practices for safe, high-quality patient care delivery systems.

The grant was first implemented in 2019 as a pilot program but was slated to end this spring. The extension will cover new students who matriculate and begin their degree program no later than the summer 2025 semester.

“Our nurses continue to partner with our health care system, contributing their ideas and energy to advance the profession and workplace,” said Karen Keady, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, vice president and chief nursing executive at URMC. “Removing barriers to help them achieve their educational goals is one of the unique benefits of working here, and we hope they take advantage of the incredible academic programs the School of Nursing offers.”

Full-time UR employees eligible for University tuition benefits must be accepted and enrolled in classes no later than the start of the summer 2025 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 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.

For eligibility and additional details, read more about the UR School of Nursing Tuition Grant or register to attend an informational webinar on Tuesday, March 12.

Categories: RN-Completion, Nursing Education, Nursing Leadership, Alumni

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