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New Nursing Grant Awarded

Aug.17, 2005 – Sophomores and juniors at the University of the Virgin Islands Student Nursing Program will have a new opportunity to learn about the field of nursing thanks to a grant from the Bennie and Martha Benjamin Foundation Inc. The foundation is a trust established by songwriter Bennie Benjamin and dedicated to improve health care in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to Rodney E. Miller Sr., president and CEO of Schneider Regional Medical Center, the center has received a three-year grant of $124,220 from the foundation to fund the Student Nurse Extern Program beginning in June 2006.
"We want to thank the Bennie and Martha Benjamin Foundation for their generous support of this valuable program," Miller said. "The nursing shortage is a nationwide problem and this grant will help in the building of the next generation of qualified registered nurses, as well as in saving us money on expensive contract nursing," he added.
The grant will provide an opportunity for 36 nursing students from UVI to supplement their training and education, according to Angela Rennalls-Atkinson, vice-president of nursing and patient care services at Schneider.
"It will be an opportunity for our local nursing students to gain more experience, skills and knowledge while working in a clinical environment," Rennalls-Atkinson said.
The grant was conditionally approved by the Board of Directors of the Bennie and Martha Benjamin Foundation for one year, with continued funding for the second and third year contingent on the success of the program.
To be eligible for the program, students must be recommended by a UVI faculty member, meet a minimum GPA and complete two clinical nursing courses. To meet the conditions of the program, the nursing students must commit to work 320 hours (eight weeks) per calendar year.

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