Some prospective nursing students in Rochester are about to get a tuition break.
The University of Rochester Medical Center announced a pilot program to cover the full cost of tuition for full-time UR employees enrolled in four select nursing degree programs.
Dean of the nursing school Kathy Rideout said the pilot program is designed to ensure the pipeline of future nurses remains full as the local need for nurses grows.
“Locally, there is not a nursing shortage, per se,” Rideout said. “But what is happening is, there’s an aging nursing workforce.”
Rideout also said as the health care system grows more complex, there’s a greater need for nurses to understand its intricacies.
And there’s an aging faculty population at the nursing school. “One goal of the masters in nursing education track is to prepare future faculty members,” Rideout said.
There’s no requirement for recipients of this tuition assistance to stay in the Rochester area, “although we certainly hope they do,” Rideout said. “We’re not concerned at all that they’ll have trouble finding job openings locally.”
The university already covers more than 80 percent of tuition costs for most full-time employees, but Rideout said covering the full cost will further increase the diversity of applicants the school can attract. “We want to prepare nurses of all backgrounds, including all financial backgrounds,” she said.