Partnership Will Expand Nursing Education and Employment Opportunities
West Burlington, March 24, 2022 – On March 23, Great River Health announced a new
partnership to expand Southeastern Community College’s nursing program to help
meet the critical need for nurses. It will be funded by a grant of up to $10 million from
the Great River Health Foundation.
The nursing partnership will create a stronger future for nursing and higher education in
southeast Iowa and enhance the health care workforce. The money will be distributed
over five years to help SCC expand faculty and related student support positions plus
provide tuition assistance to students entering the nursing program.
“This gift will allow us to allocate considerable resources toward the nursing program to
position us for growth that we otherwise wouldn’t be able to make,” said SCC President
Dr. Michael Ash. “We are grateful to the Great River Health Foundation.”
The donation is the single largest gift in SCC history. It comes in addition to Great River
Heath’s $1 million gift that funded the construction of the College’s Health Professions
Center, which opened in 2016.
“The Great River Health Foundation is Great River Health’s newest endeavor to help the
communities we serve,” said Great River Health President and CEO Matt Wenzel. The
foundation joins us in our vision of empowering people, transforming lives and fulfilling
Great River Health Foundation Executive Director Jason Hutcheson said: “SCC has been a
key partner in providing well-educated nurses for decades. This partnership strengthens
both institutions. More students can enter the nursing program and complete their
studies, and the health system will have an enhanced pool of skilled caregivers with
roots in southeast Iowa.”
Labor market data shows there are over 300 nurse positions open annually within a 50-
mile radius of Burlington with a median salary of nearly $63,000.
SCC’s nursing program consistently receives high marks for quality, and its students
regularly outperform their peers from nursing programs across Iowa and the nation.
“Nursing school is not easy, and not everyone is able to complete it,” said Kristi
Schroeder, SCC Dean of Health Professions and Director of Nursing. “One benefit of
these nursing program enhancements is that students who choose to participate will
have additional resources to help them succeed.”
Students will have access to a dedicated nursing tutor for help with coursework and a
student success advocate who will help guide them through the program and keep
them on the path to graduation.
Financial support may also be available in the form of supplemental scholarships and
grants. Students will also have preferred status when applying for positions at Southeast
Iowa Regional Hospital campuses in Fort Madison and West Burlington, and Henry
County Health Center in Mount Pleasant.
Details of individual student financial and personal support are still being finalized.
Organizers plan to hire an associate dean of nursing, a nursing tutor, student success
advocates in the coming months with additional staff coming onboard within one year.