NEW ORLEANS – Calling all aspiring Louisiana nurses! Applications are open for the first class of Ochsner Nurse Scholars. The program will provide 200 scholarships to students across the state. Dedicated to growing the pipeline of nursing and allied health professionals in Louisiana, this scholarship program is a key component of Ochsner’s 10-year vision to transform Louisiana into a healthier state by 2030.
As more seasoned nurses depart the workforce, Ochsner Nurse Scholars offers a tangible solution to growing the nursing workforce in Louisiana. According to the Louisiana State Board of Nursing Center for Nursing, in 2020, 38% of licensed registered nurses (RNs) residing in Louisiana were 50 years and older and 18% were 60 years and older. This trend is mirrored across the United States with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting an average of 175,900 openings for RNs each year over the decade, largely in part to retiring nurses. Potential burnout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic further amplifies the need to bolster the number of nurses joining the workforce.
Warner Thomas, President and CEO, Ochsner Health said, “There is a clear and significant need for more nurses to enter the workforce. We are proud to make this investment in the next generation of nurses and recognize how healthcare professionals with deep roots in the communities they serve will contribute to a healthier state for generations to come.”
Aspiring nurses selected for Ochsner Nurse Scholars will receive tuition to earn their nursing degree in exchange for employment with Ochsner Health following graduation. Over the next five years, the program will serve more than a thousand full-time nursing students in Louisiana.
“Nurses are the heart of the healthcare experience. Through Ochsner Nurse Scholars, Ochsner is paving the way to make nursing a more accessible career path by alleviating financial barriers to pursuing education. By cultivating a strong bond between aspiring Louisiana nurses and Ochsner, we are further accelerating entry into the profession,” said Tracey Schiro, Executive Vice President, Chief Risk & Human Resources Officer.
Ochsner Nurse Scholars is part of Ochsner’s commitment to invest $15 million over the next 10 years in workforce development programs in partnership with Louisiana’s Community and Technical Colleges (LCTCS) and other eligible university nursing programs to grow the pipeline of nursing and allied health professionals in Louisiana. The investment supports a series of tuition and workforce programs, which collectively are projected to positively impact more than 3,000 students within the first five years.
“Ochsner Nurse Scholars is an important investment that will change lives – both for the aspiring nurses and for the overall health and well-being of the communities they will one day serve here at home in Louisiana,” said Tracey Moffatt, System Vice President of Quality & Chief Nursing Officer.
This new program is one of many ways Ochsner is continuing to invest in additional education and workforce development programs to train the next generation of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and all allied health professionals – a key component of Ochsner’s 10-year vision to transform Louisiana into a healthier state by 2030. Additional programs include:
- Addressing the critical physician shortage in Louisiana with the launch of an Ochsner Scholars program focused on aspiring physicians. In November 2020, Ochsner announced it would commit $15 million over the next five years to cover medical school tuition for medical students who choose to practice psychiatry or primary care and commit to work at Ochsner for at least five years. Applications for the 2021 round are closed with funds slated to be distributed to selected recipients in September.
- Announcing a partnership with Delgado Community College to expand its Charity School of Nursing and Division of Allied Health. As part of this partnership, a new, state-of-the-art facility is expected to open for classes in 2023 on Delgado’s City Park Campus.
- Teaming up with Loyola University to create a new four-year, full-time undergraduate nursing program featuring in-person classroom instruction at Loyola and hands-on clinical training with Ochsner Health.
- Building on a long-standing relationship between Ochsner and Xavier University to launch a Physician Assistant (PA) program, which welcomed its first class of students in January 2020.
- Awarding an annual Ochsner Medical School Scholarship, which supports a Xavier graduate committed to practicing in Louisiana a scholarship to attend LSU Health Shreveport.
- Continuing our partner alliance with Chamberlain in support of the Chamberlain University College of Nursing at Ochsner Health Campus where students can earn their BSN degree in as few as three years of full-time study. Through this partnership, Ochsner employees have exclusive access to discounts and elevated training opportunities at Ochsner Health facilities.
How to Apply
To qualify, applicants must be actively enrolled or accepted to enroll as a full-time nursing student in a Louisiana accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Associate Degree in Nursing, or Licensed Practical Nursing program for Fall 2021 and in good academic standing.
To learn more about the program and apply visit www.ochsner.org/ochsnerscholars. For questions, email email@example.com. For more information about Ochsner Health, please visit www.ochsner.org.