A major financial gift to Butler County Community College will not only go toward building a new nursing facility, but it will also help pay for students tuition.
BC3 officials announced Tuesday morning that Concordia Lutheran Ministries will donate $1 million to the construction of the proposed Victor K. Phillips Nursing and Allied Health Building.
“Officials from both organizations talked a great deal about the timing of this incredible announcement,” BC3 President Dr. Nick Neupauer said. “After those conversations, we fully endorsed that this is the right time to share this news. This is great news. And with what is going on in the world around us, we all need something positive.
“In addition, this forward-thinking partnership with Concordia as part of the college’s ‘all-in’ for nursing could not be announced at a more crucial time. This dynamic collaboration will not only assist Concordia with more qualified healthcare professionals, it will also help our county, region, commonwealth and beyond with more nurses.”
The partnership also included a 10-year commitment from Concordia to help expand BC3’s nursing program by establishing a licensed practical nursing (LPN) program and offering tuition assistance to students who agree to work for Concordia after they graduate.
“The nursing shortage in this country is a real challenge for providers, but for Concordia specifically, we are a rapidly growing organization, which means we have an even greater need in terms of overall numbers,” said Keith Frndak, president and CEO of Concordia Lutheran Ministries. “To expand our mission, which is what we do, we need a reliable pipeline of talented people. And that’s exactly what this partnership provides.”
While Concordia employs 700 nurses throughout the system, it has approximately 60 nursing vacancies at any given time, officials said.
Concordia will provide to contracted BC3 nursing students up to $550,000 annually in tuition assistance, and to BC3 up to $350,000 yearly for operating costs, such as those associated with helping to finance salaries of additional BC3 staff hired to administer the programs.
The LPN program could start as soon as the fall of 2021. The new nursing building on BC3’s main campus is scheduled to break ground next May.