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Billings nurse apprenticeship program receives donation to educate additional students debt-free

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Posted at 12:17 PM, Jan 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-03 14:17:41-05

BILLINGS — St. John's United long-term care facility in Billings received a donation that will allow five additional students to receive their education debt-free through a newly-established nurse apprenticeship fellowship program, according to a media release from St. John's.

In October, Stockman Bank gave a challenge donation of $50,000. On December 31, St. John's announced 23 community donors contributed an additional $60,000, for a total of about $110,000 donated to the fellowship program.

The program was started in April 2020 with an initial gift of $1 million from the Bruno and Evelyn Betti foundation of Lacey, Washington. St. John's signed on the first five nursing students in June 2020.

Students in the program work for the degrees to become a registered nurse, licensed practical nurse or earn a bachelor's of science in nursing.

The students learn in classrooms at Montana State University Billings and Miles Community College, while gaining practical experience in the field at St. John's. The students will receive both a degree and all the necessary on-the-job training once complete.

Another bonus for the students is they will have no requirement to stay with St. John's after graduation, they can move on to another medical facility if they choose, allowing for a smooth transition with no employment obligations or debt.

“The philanthropic response of donors to this matching challenge is truly heartwarming. St. John’s is pleased and eager to utilize these endowed resources to develop healthcare professionals who will serve the well-being of people in Montana and beyond," wrote Tom Schlotterback, president of mission advancement at St. Johns in the release.

Applications for the five new positions in the fellowship program for 2021 are now being accepted. Contact the St. John's United human resources department for information on how to apply. The St. John's web site can be viewed by clicking here.

RELATED: New Billings nurse apprenticeship program aims to educate students, debt free

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The Mission Ridge life plan community on the St. John's United campus in Billings.