Financial Aid Widens for College Nursing Students
The Foundation for California Community Colleges will add $3 million to its assistance fund for nursing students with financial troubles, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The fund, called Flo's Cookie Jar -- after nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale -- gives one-time grants of up to $2,000 to students. Students may use the money for any expenses critical to their ability to remain in school.
The foundation started the fund about 18 months ago with donations from nurses, health care companies and hospital associations. In 2007, the fund gave a total of $115,000 to 89 students.
The foundation decided to funnel an additional $3 million from an endowment into the fund to make it easier for more students to finish school at a time when the state is facing a growing nursing shortage.
According to a 2007 report from the Legislative Analyst's Office, California will need 40,000 additional nurses by 2014 to meet the needs of an aging population. The actual number of nurses during that time is expected to grow by only 28,000 (Lindelof, Sacramento Bee, 1/7).