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U Of M’s School Of Nursing Receives $10M Donation

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities foundation has chosen to donate $10 million to the University of Minnesota. It is specifically for the School of Nursing’s scholarships for a certain type of degree: Doctor of Nursing Practice.

The scholarships are for nurses who’ve already completed their undergraduate or master’s degrees who are already working, but looking for that next step.

The Bentson Foundation donated the money. Before Larry and Nancy Bentson passed away, they made their commitment to higher education and public health well-known.

Judi Dutcher is the executive director of the Bentson Foundation in Wayzata.

“They are ultimately known as nurse practitioners, and that they can really do a lot of the things that people traditionally think of only doctors being able to do. They can prescribe medications. They can go into people’s homes and help treat them,” Dutcher said . “Nursing is a tough profession. What we could do to make the burden of the educational expense a little less burdensome, was important to do.”

Fifty nursing scholarships will be awarded each year for the next 10 year — each for $20,000.

Mary Chesney is a professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota.

“This scholarship just tremendously opens up the door to many people who wanted to pursue this, but the education was just more than they could financially endure. And really offers the opportunity for us to greatly expand the primary care workforce,” she said.

In 2012, the School of Nursing got another big gift from the Bentson Foundation and the money was used to renovate an entire floor. The state-of-the art simulation center now allows nursing students to train in an environment that’s more like a hospital than a classroom.

Now, the School of Nursing is in the selection process for the first 50 recipients. They’ll start their classes in the fall.

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