School of Nursing receives $20 million gift to fund scholarships

The donation will support undergraduate students and expand the Mary Morton Parsons Clinical Simulation Learning Center

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The $20 million donation is the largest single gift in the School of Nursing's history.

Marshall Bronfin | Cavalier Daily

The University’s School of Nursing announced Wednesday a $20 million donation from Joanne and Bill Conway that will provide scholarship support to more than 1,000 students in the school’s undergraduate pathway for the B.S. in Nursing program. This is the Conways’ third donation to the School of Nursing, and is it the largest single gift in the school’s history.

The Conways’ gift will provide scholarship funding for students who transfer into the University’s B.S.N. program along with registered nurses seeking an accelerated B.S.N. degree. The donation will allow for increased enrollment in these programs, allowing students to complete a two-year bachelor’s degree at a lower cost.

The school further plans to use the donation to expand its R.N.-to-B.S.N. program to satellite locations — like Richmond and Northern Virginia — in order to allow more nurses access to an affordable B.S.N. program across the Commonwealth. 

“We are honored to partner with the UVA School of Nursing to open doors to more students pursuing careers in nursing, and to significantly increase the number of B.S.N.-prepared nurses across the nation,” Bill Conway said in a press release.

The gift will also contribute to the development of the School of Nursing’s Mary Morton Parsons Clinical Simulation Learning Center by providing enough funds to almost double the practice space. The center serves as a training resource for students and health professionals, allowing them to simulate and respond to clinical situations.

“Simply put, the world needs more nurses,” University President Jim Ryan said in the announcement. “Through their gift, Bill and Joanne Conway will allow us to prepare more nursing students – including those who are working – and ultimately give more patients in Virginia and beyond the world-class care they deserve. I am incredibly grateful for their generosity.”

Starting in 2013, the Conways donated $5 million over a five-year period to the School of Nursing, doubling the size of the school’s Clinical Nurse Leader program. The gift established the Conway Scholars program which aimed to expand the graduate program by providing need-based financial aid to students enrolled. Bill Conway is one of the cofounders of the Carlyle Group with a net worth of $3.5 billion.

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