October 29, 2018
The University of New England is pleased to announce that it has received a $900,000 grant from the Helene Fuld Health Trust to provide meaningful scholarship support for Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree students on its Portland Campus. UNE’s ABSN pre-licensure program option provides a rigorous, fast-paced sixteen-month program of study to students who have earned a prior bachelor’s degree and aspire to a career in nursing.
In making the announcement, President James Herbert noted the significance and timeliness of the Fuld Trust’s investment here in Maine. “UNE has been actively working to increase nursing enrollment in a strategic effort to pipeline more nurses into Maine’s workforce. The Helene Fuld Health Trust’s gift will greatly expand UNE’s ability to attract promising nursing applicants to this excellent program, provide access to those with financial need, and deliver practice-ready nurses to address the nursing shortage. We are immensely grateful for the Fuld Trust’s vision and generosity.”
The University of New England’s nursing program has a long history of service, recently celebrating its milestone 50th anniversary and the graduation of over 2,200 nurses to the Maine and U.S. workforce. The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is a highly sought after option for study and has grown significantly since the program’s launch in 2013, with over 100 students in two cohorts enrolled during spring 2018. Due to the strong demand and the projected statewide nursing shortage, UNE will start a new summer cohort for the ABSN program in 2019, increasing the program’s enrollment by 50 percent.
The Helene Fuld Health Trust, located in New York, is the nation’s largest charitable trust focused solely on the support of nurses and nursing education. Established in 1935 by Leonhard Felix Fuld and his sister Florentine in honor of their mother Helene, the Fuld Trust has made a profound impact on the nursing profession. The grant to UNE will establish a $750,000 endowment yielding scholarships for ABSN students in perpetuity, with $150,000 allocated to current use scholarships over the next three years.
UNE will engage its strong donor base to maximize the Fuld Trust’s gift through matching funds over the next three years. A plan for this match initiative is already underway.
Dean of the Westbrook College of Health Professions Karen Pardue, Ph.D., expressed deep gratitude for the Helene Fuld Health Trust gift. “We are extremely proud of our nursing program and honored to be selected for this award by the largest charitable trust in the country devoted to nursing education. The Helene Fuld Health Trust’s support is a wonderful testament to UNE’s reputation for excellence and the talent of its faculty and students.”
UNE Director of Nursing Jennifer Morton, D.N.P., M.P.H., agrees. “Our students work incredibly hard. The program has achieved exceptional licensure pass rates that exceed both the state and national average, and many are accepted into highly competitive residency and graduate programs to further their education. Most importantly, they are passionate about providing patient-centered care and improving health outcomes. We are delighted to receive this award and know how much it will mean to the ABSN students selected to receive these generous Helene Fuld scholarships for years to come.”