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UR Medicine expands tuition-free nursing scholars program 

UR Medicine expands tuition-free nursing scholars program 

The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and School of Nursing announced an expansion of their UR Nursing Scholars Program to combat the rising nursing shortage in the region.  

The program, offering a tuition-free nursing education in exchange for a three-year work commitment at Strong or Highland hospitals, will now accept 120 students per year, a significant increase from the previous capacity of 33 scholars.  

The decision to expand the program comes in response to the overwhelming demand since its announcement in January and the urgent need to attract new nurses to help serve the Rochester community, officials there said. 

“I am absolutely thrilled about the impact we can make by expanding this program, allowing us to extend our reach and address the pressing nursing shortage more comprehensively,” said Lisa Kitko, dean of the UR School of Nursing and vice president of URMC. “This program not only transforms the lives of these students but also has a profound and lasting impact on our community.” 

The inaugural cohort of UR Nursing Scholars attracted students from across the United States and New York, ranging in age from 21 to 53.  

Nearly 40 percent of the cohort consists of individuals from underrepresented groups in nursing, bringing diverse backgrounds and experiences in health care, marketing, business and education to the nursing program.  

Throughout the one-year accelerated program, students will immerse themselves in an intensive nursing curriculum, including 700 hours of clinical training in different specialties at URMC and 90 hours of laboratory hours with simulation, VR and experiential learning activities at the school’s new state-of-the-art learning center.  

Since the program’s launch, the School of Nursing has experienced a significant increase in applications to the 12-month accelerated bachelor’s in nursing program and is currently accepting applications for the next cohort of UR Nursing Scholars, due July 1 for the Spring 2024 semester. 

The spring cohort will accept 30 UR Nursing Scholars for Strong Memorial Hospital and 10 for Highland Hospital.  

To learn more about the UR Nursing Scholars program, click here or attend an upcoming event: 

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