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Rochester Regional Health gets $1.1M state grant to attract more nurses


Despite the country’s 4.6 percent unemployment rate, Rochester Regional Health, an organization which prides itself on a dedication to healthcare, education and job creation, has such an extraordinary need for nursing staff that it can't fill all of the vacancies.

To help address the growing demand for nurses and create a career path for people who aspire to join the profession, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council has awarded Rochester Regional Health a $1.1 million state grant. 

“This grant will bolster our efforts to find, educate and train the next generation of healthcare professionals and create a pathway for students who aspire to continue their nursing careers,” said Eric Bieber, Rochester Regional Health President and CEO.

The funding will support three initiatives at the health system.  Its School-to Work program, which gives Hillside Work Scholars real-life experience in the nursing field at Rochester Regional hospitals, will receive a share.

Money will also be given to the Isabella Graham School of Practical Nursing, enabling the program to double the number of Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) students it trains each year.

Rochester Regional will also create a formal mentoring program to help prepare LPNs who are focused on continuing their education and earning a Registered Nurse degree. 

Sasha-Ann Simons joined the team at WXXI News in 2015 as a Multimedia Reporter/Producer. She tells stories about the innovation economy and technology in upstate New York and also does general assignment reporting. Sasha-Ann is the host of Arts InFocus, WXXI-TV's weekly arts and culture program. She is also a fill-in host and regular contributor to Need To Know.