Mountain States offering full scholarships for nursing students

Rick Wagner • Aug 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Students admitted to nursing programs can receive a full scholarship from Mountain States Health Alliance.

Under a revamped and more highly funded nursing scholarship program, MSHA this fall is starting to offer more nursing scholarships.

A newly formed nurse recruitment team at MSHA has helped create a full scholarship program for nursing students accepted into area two-year or four-year nursing programs.

“We’re looking for nurses to join the MSHA family who would love to work in our patient-centered care environment,” Teresa Shortt-Herbert, a registered nurse and MSHA senior nurse recruiter, said in a news release.

“We are hoping that seasoned nurses (and) students just accepted into a nursing program will inquire about our many offers of so many choices and so much variety in nursing at a MSHA facility. From a two-bed critical access hospital to a 400-plus bed, Level 1 trauma center that is Tennessee’s first magnet hospital, MSHA has a lot to offer nurses,” she said in the release.

The scholarships require recipients to commit to working for MSHA for a minimum amount of time after getting nursing certification, based on the amount of scholarship assistance received, said registered nurse and nurse recruiter Whitney Calhoun.

“We’ve had a scholarship program for quite some time,” Calhoun said in a phone interview Friday.

But she said that MSHA President and CEO Dennis Vonderfecht and other Mountain States leaders want to put more money and emphasis on the scholarship program starting this fall.

Schools that offer nursing programs in the region include Northeast State Technical Community College and Walters State Community College, which offer two-year degrees, and East Tennessee State University, Milligan College and King College, which offer four-year degrees.

Students at Virginia schools also are eligible, Calhoun said.

Melissa White, also a registered nurse and nurse recruiter, works with Shortt-Herbert.

The team plans to visit as many nursing schools as possible in the 24-county region covered by MSHA facilities, as well as focus on recruitment of seasoned nurses.

“MSHA offers numerable benefits to nurses, including 21 days vacation the first year of employment, competitive pay and a career ladder concept that we feel is exemplary,” White said.

The full scholarship program starts at the beginning of the 2007 fall semester.

“We want nurses who align themselves with MSHA values and our patient-centered care philosophy,” Calhoun said in the release. “We are hoping for lots of inquiries, but with full scholarships being offered, we feel we have the answers for many nursing students who might not have been able to consider starting nursing school right away.”

Calhoun explained that the applications are taken year-round on a rolling basis, but she declined to say about how many students are in the program now.

For more information call toll-free (866) 894-7761 or visit www.msha.com. Scholarship applications are available online.

MSHA facilities include its flagship Johnson City Medical Center, The Children’s Hospital at JCMC, North Side Hospital, Johnson City Specialty Hospital, James H. & Cecile C. Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital and Woodridge Hospital, a service of JCMC, all in Johnson City; Sycamore Shoals Hospital in Carter County; Johnson County Community Hospital in Mountain City; Indian Path Medical Center and Indian Path Pavilion in Kingsport; Smyth County Community Hospital; Blue Ridge Medical Management Corp. (operating the First Assist Urgent Care centers, ValuCare Clinics in Food City stores and numerous primary care offices); and Medical Center HomeCare and Hospice Services throughout the Tri-Cities.

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