GOSHEN — Beacon Health System has announced a partnership with Ivy Tech Community College aimed at establishing a new nursing school at the college beginning this fall.
According to a news release issued this week, Beacon Health and Ivy Tech are currently collaborating on an innovative program designed to attract, educate and train nurses with the ultimate goal of developing a robust pipeline of nurses to work in local healthcare.
Through the collaboration, a new Beacon Health System School of Nursing will be established at Ivy Tech.
Additionally, nursing students will have the opportunity to become part of the Beacon Scholars Program, which will cover the cost of their Ivy Tech education, including books. Beacon Health will also provide participating students with a living stipend and future employment as a Beacon Health nurse, according to the release.
As part of the partnership, the health system has also committed to providing new nursing faculty resources through current Beacon nurses and making additional investments in facility improvements at Ivy Tech to better prepare students for the clinical environment, the release notes. The hope is that the collaboration will help address the region’s nursing shortage by graduating more trained clinical staff who desire to remain in the community in which they are educated.
“This program expands the way we think about health beyond the walls of our hospitals and doctors’ offices. Health starts in our families, schools and workplaces,” Beacon Health System CEO Kreg Gruber said in a provided statement. “Ivy Tech Community College has a great track record of educating individuals who otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to enter higher education and who are first-generation students. There’s a benefit to knowing a nurse is committed and grounded here. We need people from our own community taking care of our community and this program will produce that.”
According to Ivy Tech Chancellor David Balkin, the new partnership represents not only an investment in nurses, but also the creation of new educational opportunities that can impact the health of surrounding communities.
“We are grateful to the entire Beacon team for their dedication to the South Bend-Elkhart area and for their service, creativity and generosity as we work together to address the critical need for nurses in our region,” Balkin said in a provided statement. “We hope that our collaboration model will be replicated locally and throughout the state to meet Indiana’s need for well-trained staff in all aspects of our healthcare system.”
The release notes that more information about the new collaboration and the Beacon Scholars application will be available in the spring of 2022.
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
Beacon Health System is the largest locally owned and operated nonprofit health care system in the region.
Facilities such as Beacon Children’s Hospital, Elkhart General Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend all fall under the health system’s umbrella, which includes nearly 8,000 associates and over 1,000 physicians and providers.
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The college has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online.