The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) recently received a $2 million gift from Bill and Joanne Conway’s Bedford Falls Foundation. Their donation was the third largest philanthropic gift the school has ever received and will be used to fund scholarships for UMSON students in financial need who are pursuing master’s, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and PhD degrees, or the school’s post-master’s Certificate in Teaching in Nursing and Health Professions. Recipients of these scholarships will be named Conway Scholars.

Funding scholarships won’t be the only thing the $2 million gift will go towards. It will also assist in expanding UMSON’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program. The FNP program is currently only offered at the Baltimore campus and it’s a high demand program that can’t accommodate all qualified students. Enabling expanded enrollment will provide the region with more well-qualified primary care providers. UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, told Newswise.com,

“Maryland has an acute need for more – and more highly trained – nurses. The gift from Bill and Joanne Conway will be used to alleviate the state’s nursing shortage in two ways: enlarging the pool of nurses who can provide primary care to Maryland residents and enlarging the pool of faculty and instructors who can train nursing students.”

The Conways’ recent gift is the second seven-figure gift they’ve given to UMSON. Their first was a $5.24 million gift in April 2015, the largest in UMSON history. It’s still being used to fund over 150 full scholarships for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students and increased opportunities for registered nurses (RNs) to obtain BSN degrees through UMSON’s RN-to-BSN program.

Conway Scholars will receive scholarships covering in-state tuition and fees. They must remain in good academic standing and have previously expressed commitments to serve as clinical preceptors or instructors, and secure full-time faculty positions within three years of graduating.

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