Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College (ECTC) officials today announced a new fully funded associate degree in nursing (ADN) program, removing the financial burden for HMH employees who want to become registered nurses. HMH will cover participants’ tuition and textbooks up front.
HMH and ECTC leaders, joined by HMH nursing staff, signed a memorandum of agreement during a ceremony at Hardin Memorial Hospital.
“No matter an employee’s current position within our organization, if they are interested in nursing, we have a plan for them,” said HMH Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Wright. “This fully funded program takes us to a new level as we work with ECTC to not only build rewarding career paths for our employees but also develop a pipeline of registered nurses to meet the future healthcare needs of our region.”
ECTC President Dr. Juston Pate noted the longtime relationship between the college and healthcare system.
“We are very excited about our relationship with Hardin Memorial Health. We have a very strong partnership, and to enhance our services we are now partnering to increase access to ECTC’s exceptional nursing program,” Pate said. “Since the college opened its doors in 1964, we’ve partnered with the hospital to provide the skilled nurses and other health care professionals our community needs.”
He expressed pride in the graduates of such programs, including Wright, an ECTC Distinguished Alumni.
Melanie Toffoli Meucci, a patient care assistant on HMH’s progressive care unit, is a member of the program’s first cohort. When she began working at HMH in 2015, she set a goal to advance within the healthcare system. The ADN program allows her to achieve that goal as well as realize the career ambition she’s held since graduating high school.
“The HMH family has done nothing but uplift me and make me feel part of a team of healthcare professionals working for the greater good of our community,” she said. “Because of this fully funded program, I’m now pursuing what my soul loves. I couldn’t imagine doing anything except nursing.”
HMH is committed to employees’ success in the program, said HMH Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Myra Covault.
“From funding to scheduling that accommodates class requirements to facilitating study groups, we want to support these employees as they advance their knowledge and skills,” she said. “These efforts help HMH grow and retain the strongest nurses and, in turn, provide the best care to our patients and their families.”
Pate noted ECTC’s commitment to developing the healthcare workforce that meets the needs of the region.
“I’m certain that as the healthcare needs of our communities become increasingly demanding and complex, ECTC and HMH will work together toward assuring a healthy and safe quality of life for each of our residents,” Pate said.