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Wheeling University Awarded $538,735 Through Gov. Justice’s Nursing Workforce Expansion Program

WHEELING, W.Va., March 24 – Wheeling University has been awarded $538,738 through West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s Nursing Workforce Expansion Program, which is designed to address the state’s nursing shortage through a multifaceted approach to attract, train and retain nurses in the Mountain State.

Representing a fundamental part of this approach, an award program was established to fund nursing program expansion projects at colleges, universities, schools of nursing and career technical education centers across West Virginia.

Through Wheeling University’s award, the institution plans to develop a 16-month Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree completion program. Under this accelerated format, students who have completed an associate or bachelor’s degree in any field can earn a BSN degree in a year and a half. Additionally, this grant will allow the University to establish a two-day summer Healthcare Careers Academy beginning in the Summer of 2023, to encourage more high school students to enter the field, as well as fund installation of a new state-of-the-art medical care simulation laboratory. Wheeling University will partner with WVU Medicine, Belmont College, West Virginia Northern Community College and local high schools to enroll, educate and graduate more BSN students.

Wheeling University President Ginny R. Favede said, “Wheeling University, along with our partners, are grateful to Governor Justice for this funding, which will help produce more licensed nurses to meet the health care needs of residents across West Virginia. Our mission calls us to serve and care for others, especially those in need. We thank Governor Justice and his team for recognizing that Wheeling University is committed to addressing the nursing shortage, as well as producing health care professionals who are grounded in the Catholic mission of cura personalis – to care for the whole person.”

The nursing program expansion awards are administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System. Twenty-six funded projects across the state were announced by Governor Justice on March 17. Approved projects were required to be focused on timely degree completion and licensure for graduates.

“We are extremely grateful to Governor Justice for providing this historic funding to support the expansion of nursing education programs across West Virginia,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “Through these new projects, our postsecondary education community will be better positioned to help shore up West Virginia’s nursing workforce – which in turn, will help support our nurses working tirelessly on the front lines right now.”

Governor Justice announced the West Virginia Workforce Expansion Program in December 2021 by dedicating $48 million to support new and expanded initiatives that will train new nurses, fully fund the West Virginia Nursing Scholarship Program, value nurses already practicing and recruit nurses into West Virginia.