Gala Nursing Scholarships Build Relationships

Cindy Skipton has important and rewarding nursing positions within Genesis Health System. She oversees the care of the youngest patients at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport.

Cindy is the nurse manager of the Genesis Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Pediatrics Unit. She also manages the care of the Adult Surgical Unit.

While handling the rigorous day-to-day responsibilities of managing three units, Cindy has also been able to work on her Master of Science Degree in Nursing (MSN). She will complete her MSN education later this year. The financial assistance provided through a Gala Nursing Scholarship is helping Cindy advance her nursing education and nursing management skills.

"The benefits of the program have worked well for my career and for my family. I have a child in college now so the financial support of the Gala scholarships has relieved some of the financial burden for my family,'' Cindy says. "Because of the Genesis relationship with St. Ambrose University, I have been able to work toward my MSN without even leaving the Genesis campus.

"And most importantly, by advancing my nursing education, I am going to be better able to serve the needs of our patients and to assist nurses in taking our patient care to an even higher level.''

This year the Genesis Health Services Foundation and the Genesis Illini Foundation are setting aside up to $75,000 for financial assistance to current Genesis nurses like Cindy and to college students from the Quad City area who are pursuing a baccalaureate degree in nursing.

The financial assistance will be made available through the Foundation's Gala Nursing Scholarship program. This is the eighth year the Gala nursing scholarships are being offered.

The Gala Nursing Scholarship program provides scholarships to college students who are seeking admission to, or have been accepted into, a baccalaureate program in nursing at an accredited Iowa or Illinois college or university in the region. The scholarships are awarded to students with an agreement to work full-time at Genesis Medical Center–Davenport or Genesis Medical Center–Illini Campus for two years upon completion of their degree.

In addition to the scholarships awarded to college students who are working toward nursing degrees, a significant portion of the Gala Scholarship funding will be dedicated to employed nurses at Genesis Medical Center–Davenport and Genesis Medical Center–Illini Campus in Silvis, Ill., who are pursuing BSN or MSN degrees.

Because nursing is a dynamic profession, lifelong learning is essential for nurses to stay current with the increased complexity of health care today and into the future. Research evidence has demonstrated that patients who are cared for by nurses with a baccalaureate education in nursing have improved clinical outcomes. Additional benefits of BSN and MSN degree completion include enhanced career progression, which is increasingly important in filling nursing management and faculty positions.

Perhaps most important, the Gala nursing scholarships are intended to build lasting relationships between nurses and Genesis Health System. The scholarship program is one of many ways Genesis Medical Center is working to prevent future nursing shortages at Genesis.

Projections show that the nationwide demand for nurses will exceed the supply by 20 percent by the year 2020. The scholarship program is one of many ways Genesis Health System is working to prevent a future nursing shortage at Genesis.

"Funds raised for the scholarships comes from generous community support of the Foundation's annual Gala," says Missy Gowey, CFRE, executive director, Genesis Health Services Foundation. "These scholarships are indicative of the importance Genesis and Quad Citians place on nurse retention and professional development, factors which positively influence patient outcomes."

The Genesis Gala, cosponsored by the Genesis Health Services Foundation and the Genesis Illini Foundation, is scheduled for May 1 at i wireless Center. For information about tickets or sponsorship of the Gala, call 563-421-6865.

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