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Memorial Health And Illinois College Announce Partnership

Memorial Health and Illinois College have announced a partnership aimed at relieving the long-term regional nursing shortage by expanding capacity in the college’s nursing program. Memorial Health has pledged $4 million to help Illinois College educate more students in the bachelor of science in nursing program, as well as students enrolled in pre-nursing studies.  Memorial also has partnerships with U of I Chicago-Springfield, Lincoln Land CC, ISU Mennonite College of Nursing, and Richland Community College.


The BSN program at Illinois College currently graduates around 20 nurses every year.  The partnership is expected to help boost those numbers to 100 within the next five years, by expanding facilities, and adding new nursing faculty.  Half o fthe funds Memorial has pledged to IC will go toward student scholarships, aimed at making nursing education more affordable. 


Illinois College President Barbara Farley says that she is excited to partner with Memorial Health. She says it will help increase enrollment and provide high-quality learning experiences.  Many graduates have gone on to have careers at Memorial Health and Jacksonville Memorial Hospital.


Memorial Health President and CEO Ed Curtis says that educational partnerships are an essential component of Memorial’s long-term strategy to strengthen the local health care workforce. Marsha Prater, senior vice president and chief nursing officer at Memorial Health says more than 80,000 students interested in nursing were turned away from nursing programs in 2019 alone due to lack of capacity.  She hopes that with these facility increases, more will become enrolled.

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