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Leaders from Temple, IBX and the city pose with the first cohort of the nursing pipeline program. Photo: Twitter- @TempleCPH
Leaders from Temple, IBX and the city pose with the first cohort of the nursing pipeline program. Photo: Twitter- @TempleCPH

Temple, IBX partner for program offering a pathway through nursing school for students of color

The Healthcare Scholars Pipeline Program will provide full four-year scholarships to students pursuing a nursing degree at Temple.

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On Oct. 12, 2021, a number of Philadelphia public officials and leaders from Temple University and Independence Blue Cross gathered to celebrate the inaugural class of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation Healthcare Scholars Pipeline Program.

In partnership with Temple University’s College of Public Health and Department of Nursing, the program’s goal is to create a direct pathway to nursing from high school to college, specifically targeting students of color.

The initial cohort is composed of five students from neighborhood high schools in North Philadelphia. All are pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and have full four-year scholarships through the program, covering tuition and other educational expenses.

In the near future, the goal is for the cohort to expand to 20 students.

Beyond full rides, the participating students will also have access to internships, mentorships and learning communities throughout their four years in the program. They will also have the opportunity to secure job placements in the Temple University Health System upon graduation.

Temple specifically, will also offer three-day summer programs for high school freshmen to spread awareness about the nursing profession and all that it offers as a career. The programs will touch on safety and first aid, hygiene, healthy nutrition, stress management, and the role of nurses in the health of individuals.

In the long run, the hope for the program is that it changes the face of nurses across the city, region and country in hopes of bridging more of the care divides that still exist in communities across the U.S.

“A diverse nursing workforce is essential to providing culturally competent care in communities of color, so we must make sure nursing education is an option for all who want to enter the career,” said Gregory E. Deavens, Independence Blue Cross president and CEO.

That sentiment was seconded by Temple President Dr. Jason Wingard, who pointed to the importance of targeting nurse diversity given the healthcare situation of the last year and seven months. 

“Through this collaboration, our College of Public Health will facilitate the development of a pipeline of highly-talented and diverse nurses. The importance of intentionally targeting these frontline practitioners is crucial given the current complexities of the healthcare system,” he said.

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