Mercy Medical Center and Coe College have announced a new partnership that will help Coe students complete nursing degrees with little to no debt – all while gaining valuable, on-the-job experience as they prepare to enter the workforce.
Mercy’s Earn & Learn program is designed to provide financial assistance to cover a student’s “unmet needs” while completing a BSN degree at Coe College. The assistance may be applied to tuition, housing, transportation, fees and food.
Additionally, the program provides students with a part-time job as a patient care tech, phlebotomist or paramedic at Mercy while they’re still in school, as well as a full-time position at Mercy upon graduation. The program also aims to provide incentive for individuals who have or may be considering a career in healthcare.
Financial assistance from the Earn & Learn program will come in the form of grants and education assistance. It will help students gain healthcare experience, while minimizing financial stress.
“We are thrilled to partner with Coe College on this important initiative,” said Tim Charles, president and CEO, Mercy Medical Center. “This is exactly the type of innovative program we need as the nation’s healthcare systems look for solutions to severe nursing shortages. This partnership with Coe is especially beneficial as it helps us, and the broader community, attract and retain local nursing talent.”
“Our neighbors in the MedQuarter provide exceptional exposure to real-world experiences and engagement in the community and are a distinctive advantage of the Coe Center for Health & Society,” said Coe College President David Hayes. “We are grateful to Mercy, as this partnership with Mercy will further enhance those opportunities for our nursing graduates as the next generation of healthcare workers.”
The financial assistance from Mercy will help students pay for expenses to attend Coe. In turn, those students will commit to working at Mercy for at least 20 hours per month for nine months as a patient care tech, phlebotomist or paramedic. The positions offer flexible scheduling, competitive wages and the ability to work in the hospital setting. Upon graduation, students commit to work at Mercy for 18 months. Once they complete 18 months of employment, the financial assistance will not need to be repaid.
Nursing students who choose to participate in the program can also use Coe College financial aid and other forms of state and federal aid, along with Mercy scholarship money, to pay for college expenses.
Mercy is working with other nursing schools in the area to implement similar incentive programs. A partnership with Mount Mercy University, called MercyReady, was announced in early March, and was the first of its kind to be launched in the community.