HELENA — Nurses provide crucial care in Montana. Now, $400,000 more in scholarships are available for Carroll College students waiting to enter the field, thanks to a large donation and a matching amount from the school.
The generous gift will give Carroll College students studying to be the next generation of nurses financial help for completing their education and have Montana meet the critical demand for frontline health care workers.
"None of us are foreign to the fact that we're in a health care crisis right now and that we need to continue to grow this workforce from the ground up. That's really where our nursing programs come into play, but unfortunately, that costs money," said Lauren Swant, Director of Nursing at Caroll College.
Swant says receiving the donation from Mike Gustafson and his wife Charlene of $200,000 which matched through contributions to a total of $400,000 toward scholarships for nursing students, helps alleviate the stress of finances while working toward a degree.
"Knowing that they don't have to struggle as much along the way, any kind of financial assistance and support students can receive, as is paramount," said Swant.
Swant says that providing the funding for students to get into a critical field of work is encouraging.
"To be able to support those students so that they can still continue on in their education and that they can find a way to get to their end goal, which is ultimately to help people," said Swant.
The scholarships will be for undergraduate nursing students and will be available to 122 students.
"It helps us to incentivize the time commitment in the life commitment that goes into this," said Swant.