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Parker Nursing Scholars Launched at BTC

October 24, 2018

Blackhawk Technical College, in partnership with the Parker Family Foundation, recently launched the Nancy B. Parker Nursing Scholars Program, a scholarship to help retain skilled nurses in Rock and Green Counties. The program targets high-achieving students who have been admitted into the BTC nursing program. The goal is to improve nursing student recruitment and retention as well as to fill anticipated nursing shortages in Green and Rock Counties by retaining top talent in our communities. First-year students can be eligible for a $1,000 maximum award with an opportunity for an additional $1,500 in year two.

The inaugural cohort of Parker Scholars include:
  • Beloit, WI: Lorena Hebble, Kimberley Richards 
  • Brodhead, WI: Melissa Murray
  • Clinton, WI: Anna Swanson 
  • Edgerton, WI: Maria Hernandez, Emily McAllister, Megan Scanlon
  • Janesville, WI: Kathleen Dutenhoefer, Rebecca Glass, Heidi Hamilton, Elizabeth Kroll, Christin Olsen, Danielle Schumacher
  • Rockton, IL: Ariel Darin

The Parker scholarship gift is in the name of Nancy B. Parker for her lifelong contributions to, and involvement with, nursing activities, including her service to Mercy Hospital in Janesville where she served on the Board of Trustees for many years. The Parker Foundation made an initial gift of $250,000 to establish the program with a commitment to donate an additional $250,000 based on a challenge match to the local community. In total, this is a $1,000,000 investment into students and the community. 

The Parker Family has a long history of supporting our community. “Today, with the increasing need for practical, technical, and vocational training for nurses in Rock and Green Counties, our gift is critical in helping the College meet that need,” said George S. Parker, great-grandson to the founder of the Parker Pen Company. He continued, “Most importantly, as healthcare enters a new phase of dramatically increased demand, it is very important that Blackhawk be in a position to provide program graduates to serve the needs of southern Wisconsin.” 

The Parker Family gift is a commitment to the region’s economy and the lives of BTC’s students. “This gift will impact our community for generations to come by enabling access to education for many students who may not otherwise be able to pursue a career in nursing. Healthcare and retaining local talent are at the heart of this program and our community’s success,” said Blackhawk Technical College President Dr. Tracy Pierner.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1.2 million vacancies will emerge for registered nurses between 2014 and 2022. Presently, there are more Americans over the age of 65 than at any other time in U.S. history. It is projected that between 2010 and 2030, the population of senior citizens will increase by 75 percent to 69 million, meaning one in five Americans will be a senior citizen.

In addition to the Parker family gift, the BTC nursing program has a lot to celebrate. According to the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) Program Reports, the BTC Nursing Program earned a first-place ranking among all nursing programs (1,189 programs) in the in the United States and its territories. The comparison group is all RN programs (BSN, Associate Degree or Diploma) that had at least ten graduates take the NCLEX-RN examination during the reporting year. BTC earned the first place ranking based on a pass rate of 100% on the licensure exam.

Group of Parker Scholars

Front row: Rebecca Glass, Heidi Hamilton, Danielle Schumacher, Elizabeth (Betsy) Kroll, Anna Swanson, Ariel Darin, and Emily McAllister. Second row: Kimberly Richards, Megan Scanlon, Maria Hernandez, Christin Olsen, Kathleen Dutenhoefer, Lorena Hebble, Melissa Harnack, and Tracy Pierner.

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