KeyBank Foundation has awarded $1 million over five years to Akron Children’s Hospital’s Assuring Success with a Commitment to Enhance Nurse Diversity (ASCEND) Program.
The ASCEND Program works to improve nursing diversity. A recent study from the National County of State Boards of Nursing found that 93% of Registered Nurses are female, and 83% are Caucasian.
This partnership between Akron Children’s and KeyBank Foundation is part of the foundation’s commitment to workforce development; ensuring adults have the necessary skills and education to meet the employment needs in the community.
“We recognize that the success of students entering the workforce depends not only on the quality of their education but the resources and support services available,” said Tim Burke, KeyBank Market President. “At KeyBank, we have made it our mission to create thriving communities and we believe that quality education and strong workforce development programs are core to that mission.”
This partnership will support an increase in the number of ASCEND Program interns as well as providing tuition support during their senior year of college. It is the hope that after graduation the program participants will return to Akron Children’s Hospital to begin their nursing career.
“Nursing diversity is vital to ensuring a positive experience for our patients,” said William Considine, CEO, Akron Children’s Hospital. “Not only does this program provide a valuable educational experience, it also helps Akron Children’s recruit more prepared nurses and helps our workforce reflect the diversity of the patients, families and communities we serve.”
Students who participate in the ASCEND Program must be from a minority group or first generation college student, both of which are underrepresented groups in nursing.
The ASCEND Program is a 10-week summer internship at Akron Children’s. The program is for nursing students earning a Bachelor’s Degree who will be entering their senior year and are pursuing their degree through one of the program’s partner nursing schools that include the Ashland University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Hiram College, Kent State University, Malone University, Notre Dame College, University of Akron, University of Mount Union, Ursuline College, Walsh University, Youngstown State University.