IC receives major grant investment in nursing program
Illinois College has been awarded a $237,750 grant to support the College’s new clinical nursing program in recognition of its future economic impact on the region.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration CARES grant addresses the tremendous need for nurses at all levels, a need that has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant will support the placement of more than 1,000 nursing professionals into future jobs in the region by enhancing the training equipment available to registered nurses, certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses.
The grant will help fund a state-of-the-art nursing lab on IC’s campus that will provide critical training to nurses in the region for years to come. The grant funds will help purchase innovative equipment and life-like simulators for nurses to gain experience with providing patient care, assisting with births, administering injections and more.
Illinois College announced the addition of a four-year clinical nursing degree program in April 2020. The program has quickly grown to enroll more than 100 nursing majors and pre-nursing students, and is expected to continue to expand as students recognize the value of the program.
"This grant will provide crucial support for the growth of the new clinical nursing program at Illinois College,” President Barbara A. Farley said. “We are thankful for our partners. With their support and collaboration, this initiative will provide workforce development for well-qualified healthcare professionals in west-central Illinois.”
The College’s partners for the project include Lincoln Land Community College, Memorial Health System, Passavant Area Hospital, Illini Community Hospital, the Two Rivers Economic Development District and the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation.
Rep. Darin LaHood, who represents Illinois's 18th Congressional District, announced the grant last month, saying the addition of the new nursing program in the area “is great news for Jacksonville and Morgan County.”
In addition to the education of registered nurses through Illinois College’s bachelor of science in nursing program, the grant will support the training of certified nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses through a partnership between the College and LLCC.
Lincoln Land Community College President Charlotte J. Warren noted, “Prior to the pandemic, there was a documented need for health care professionals in west-central Illinois including registered professional nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nurse assistants. The challenges surrounding the pandemic have increased the need for well prepared, frontline healthcare providers. I look forward to working with President Farley to provide additional educational opportunities to both Illinois College and Lincoln Land Community College students.”
LLCC students in the CNA and LPN programs will have access to the new nursing lab, and IC will encourage nursing students to pursue CNA certification at LLCC after their first year so they can gain valuable real-world experience. Beyond technical training, the relationship will give RN, CNA and LPN students and faculty the opportunity to work together, fostering greater collaboration and understanding of all levels of the nursing profession.
Altogether, the grant and matching funds from the College will total nearly $300,000 in investment in the region. The Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce is supporting this project with EDA grant #06-79-06276.
To learn more about nursing at Illinois College, including the online RN to BSN program, visit www.ic.edu/nursing.