Augusta Health Scholars Program Established to Help Address Nurse Shortage


Date: August 26, 2022
Categories: Press Release

Fishersville, Va. – A joint program announced Thursday by Augusta Health and Blue Ridge Community College aims to help address the nurse shortage crisis. The Augusta Health Scholars partnership was established to increase access to education and the nursing career pathway.

In an effort to help address the growing nurse shortage, Mary Mannix, CEO of Augusta Health, and Dr. John Downey, President of BRCC, signed a Memorandum of Agreement establishing the Augusta Health Scholars, a partnership for the Associate Degree Nursing Program. Augusta Health recognized that greater access to education and nurse career pathways is one way to help address the nurse shortage crisis. As education is the foundation for growing the population of skilled nurses, incentivizing students to enroll in nursing school, complete their studies, and continue their education beyond the initial degree to higher level skills is one strategy to mitigate the nurse shortage challenge.

Under the agreement, August Health non-degreed team members will receive financial support for tuition, books, and supplies from Augusta Health to pursue their associate degree, a monthly stipend, and the opportunity to gain practical skills as they move forward in their career as a Registered Nurse.   

“There are many positive attributes related to this partnership, but most importantly, it provides a path for someone to become a nurse who otherwise may not have the opportunity,” said Ms. Mannix. She added, “This is truly a win-win for our patients, community, team members, and community college students.”

Augusta Health and Blue Ridge Community College will support up to 15 participants in the first year cohort.

“The Augusta Health Scholars program is yet another example of how the longstanding partnerships between Blue Ridge Community College and our local hospitals have grown to help better serve our community,” said Dr. John Downey.