Northern Essex Community College Receives $300,000 for ‘Diversifying Nursing Pathways Initiative’

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Northern Essex Community College is one of 10 community colleges in the U.S. receiving money to increase access to nursing careers for people from various racial and ethnic backgrounds and address systemic barriers they may face.

The Accelerating and Diversifying Nursing Pathways at Community Colleges Initiative is awarded through the Achieving the Dream organization and is made possible with support from the Brave Heart Fund. Selected colleges are awarded $300,000 between now and May 31, 2025. The money allows schools to create stronger pathways to employment in nursing, especially for students who face barriers due to their race or ethnicity.

Northern Essex plans to achieve the goal by coordinating existing programs and support services. Northern Essex Director of Grants Development Karen Rooney explains the college’s Division of Health Professions wants to connect credit and non-credit offerings to provide each student an appropriate starting place and then stack educational and career experiences that will eventually lead to an employer.

“The goals of the program include strengthening our healthcare partnerships to collectively increase enrollment, completion, licensure, and job attainment for our healthcare students,” says Rooney. “Strategic partners will share our focus on equity to enhance economic and social mobility for all students, particularly those that have historically been underserved and underrepresented, and provide opportunities wherever students are.”

The College begins meeting with Achieving the Dream this week to create detailed action plans. It is the only community college in New England chosen to participate.

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