UR Medicine Thompson Health awarding 10 scholarships per year to nursing students

UR Medicine Thompson Health awarding 10 scholarships per year to nursing students

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Since before the pandemic, News10NBC has been reporting on the shortage of healthcare workers that is crippling our community. There are not enough nurses to care for our aging population, and the problem has only grown worse over the last few years. 

In an effort to boost recruitment, UR Medicine Thompson Health has created a new scholarship for second-year nursing students to cover a full year of tuition in exchange for an agreement to work in its hospital for two years.

Nichelle Camp, a nursing student at Finger Lakes Community College, is the first person to receive one of the scholarships.

“I come from a family kind of full of nurses. I’ve had a lot of great role models that are nurses. So, I’m like, ‘I think this would be a good fit,’” she tells News10NBC. 

Camp grew up in Newark and as a student at FLCC did some of her clinical rotations at Thompson Health. When she graduates and passes her boards, she’ll start at the hospital as a critical care nurse in the post-anesthesia care unit.

“I’m happy I get to stay local, in the community. I was thinking I could work at Newark, Clifton or Thompson, and I just fell in love with Thompson,” she says.

That’s the attitude that Chief Nursing Officer, Hazel Robertshaw, is hoping to capture in all her new nurses.

“Throughout the pandemic, we saw a lot of turnover. Nurses left for lots of reasons and it’s now a time to rebuild and to look to the future and to get creative,” she tells news10NBC. 

The new scholarship is one way to recruit. Thompson Health is also offering to help its current nursing assistants, patient care techs and LPNs take the next step up.

“They would drop to part-time during their school time and receive a stipend to keep them whole, as well as helping them with their tuition assistance,” she says.

The competition among hospitals for nurses is tough, especially with major trauma centers not too far down the road. But Thompson’s has a big selling point.

“In an environment like ours, you do take care of your family and friends. 99% of the people who come through our doors are connected in some way to somebody who works here, and I think that changes the dynamic. It’s a much more family friendly environment,” Robertshaw says. 

An environment that camp is proud to join and her family, well, they’re pretty proud too.

“My mom has been a nurse for 20 years and she went through the FLCC program. So, she’s an alumni so her heart is melting at all this,” she says.

For more information on nursing jobs available at Thompson, click here.