University of Virginia Nursing School Receives $14M to Reduce Student Costs, Ease Nursing Shortage

The University of Virginia received a $14 million gift. Discover how these funds will impact UVA's School of Nursing.
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Published on October 26, 2023
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  • Longtime benefactors Joanne and Bill Conway have given $14 million to the University of Virginia School of Nursing.
  • They previously donated $35 million to the nursing school.
  • The Conways' latest gift will help to alleviate the nursing shortage by further supporting the school's clinical nurse leader program.

Thanks to a $14 million donation from longtime university benefactors Joanne and Bill Conway, the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Nursing can continue to support its clinical nurse leader program, which includes graduate nursing programs. The gift will help combat the nursing shortage by educating more nurses and supporting future nursing faculty.

The nursing shortage persists in the U.S., in part, because schools cannot train enough nurses. There simply is not enough space or faculty.

With the average age of nursing professors being between 51 and 63, many faculty members are expected to retire soon, according to UVA Today's press release that originally announced the Conways' nursing school gift.

The Conways previously donated $35 million to UVA's School of Nursing, totaling $49 million in support of the department.

Virginia Business reports that in 2013, the Conways donated $5 million to fund scholarships for the clinical nurse leader program, doubling the number of students from 48 to 96.

Four years later, in 2017, the Conways donated $5 million over five years to fund more than 110 nursing scholarships to non-nursing professionals who entered the clinical nurse leader program.

In 2018, they donated $5 million in tuition assistance for nursing students. And in 2020, the couple committed $20 million to fund scholarships to enroll over 1,000 nursing students over 10 years.

These previous nursing school gifts have improved access to the UVA School of Nursing's RN-to-BSN program, allowing more registered nurses (RNs) to earn their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degrees.

This was accomplished partially by UVA building satellite sites in both Richmond and Northern Virginia, growing the school's clinical nurse leader program. The Conways' support also enhanced the Mary Morton Parsons Clinical Simulation Learning Center and created a new pool of scholarships.

The latest nursing school gift from the Conways will reduce tuition for nursing students and fund scholarships to students in the clinical nurse leader's master's program. Bill Conway said in the Virginia Business article that he aims to improve access to quality education and address the nursing shortage.

"Bill's and Joanne's extraordinary generosity comes at a critical moment, as our country faces an unprecedented nursing shortage," UVA president Jim Ryan said in Philanthropy News Digest.

"Their latest gift will enable more students to pursue nursing degrees at UVA, removing barriers and offering important support for students. I'm incredibly grateful for the Conways' ongoing commitment to the school of nursing and the nursing profession as a whole."

University of Virginia Nursing School Gift: More Details

The latest $14 million nursing school gift from Joanne and Bill Conway will provide a minimum of 175 scholarships to cover tuition, books, fees, and room and board for both undergraduate and graduate nursing students.

The gift is focused on developing the nursing school's clinical nurse leader master's program. This program is for people who hold at least a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing who want to become nurses on a fast track.

The clinical nurse leader's program also trains students in the new accelerated BSN program, a two-year transfer-in program.

The Conways' $14 million commitments will also create scholarships for the University of Virginia's highly ranked clinical nurse leader's master's program. These students are either transitioning into nursing from other professions or are doctoral students pursuing careers as nurse scientists and professors.

Bill Conway is a co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a private investment firm based in Washington, D.C. The firm manages $385 billion in assets and owns 29 offices across five continents, employing over 2,200 professionals across the globe.