Texas hospital will pay employees $10K to get healthcare degree

University Medical Center of El Paso (Texas) has launched two programs focused on retaining current employees.

Under the CARES Pursuing Upward Learning and Legacy program, the hospital will pay up to $5,000 per year for two years for an employee to get their degree in a hard-to-fill career field, such as nursing, respiratory or imaging, UMC spokesperson Ryan Mielke confirmed to Becker's on June 1.

Employees do not have to currently work in clinical areas to be considered for the program. However, they must be a full-time employee with at least one year of employment, according to a flier from the hospital. They also must apply for admission via an approved educational program and agree to stay at UMC four years after graduating from the program. 

Those accepted into the program will maintain full-time employment status and compensation during their education while working part time, Mr. Mielke said.

According to ABC affiliate KVIA, the University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso Community College and the Texas Tech University Health Science Center are all educational partners in the program.  

In addition, under the CARES Student Loan Assistance Program, eligible employees will receive up to $5,250 annually in student loan repayment assistance for a healthcare degree. 

"The programs are both new and we are still taking applications," Mr. Mielke said. "The reasoning behind the programs, and programs like these, is to provide incentive to current employees to further their careers, change careers to careers where the number of qualified applicants for positions is dwindling, and to give employees more reasons to stay at University Medical Center of El Paso."

UMC has 3,400 employees.

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