Donor says more nurses could fix healthcare system, gifts UVA nursing $20M

Charlottesville-based University of Virginia's School of Nursing announced Jan. 8 a $20 million gift from Joanne and Bill Conway to help enroll more than 1,000 students over the next 10 years. 

The donation, the largest single gift in the school's history, will allow the program to accept more transfers, expanding and diversifying the student body, Pam Cipriano, RN, PhD, school of nursing dean and the Sadie Heath Cabaniss professor of nursing, said in the news release.

The school will also launch an accelerated curriculum so nursing students can complete a bachelor's degree in two years instead of three. This will make the program more affordable and let UVA enroll more BSN students for their third and fourth years.

"Study after study has confirmed that patients receive safer care and have better health outcomes when cared for by nurses with a BSN," Dr. Cipriano said, adding that a BSN can also improve career and economic mobility for nurses. 

The school will also establish satellite sites in Richmond, Va., and Northern Virginia, a move expected to triple enrollment in the RN-to-BSN program.

"Joanne and I believe that increasing the number of nurses in our nation is a lasting solution to the challenges facing our healthcare system," Bill Conway, co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, said in the news release. 

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