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Notre Dame College has an excellent and competitive nursing student population that can help fill nursing workplace needs and address Ohio’s nursing workforce shortage.

Nursing school tuition can be a challenge for first-generation and PELL-eligible students.  These three avenues now intersect and benefit our student nurses and their future workplaces because of a new $1.26 million grant from the State of Ohio through the Choose Ohio First program.

The new influx will be used to provide scholarships to five cohorts of nursing students, the first of which will be selected prior to the 2022-23 school year.  The students will be tracked over the five years of the grant and are strongly encouraged to maintain a 3.0 grade point average.  This will help ensure they possess the knowledge and skills that medical providers and facilities require to remain competitive and relevant.

Northeast Ohio must significantly strengthen its competitiveness and competence in the nursing profession.  While the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, St. Vincent, and the VA require large, ready-on-day 1 staffs, rural areas desperately need nurses trained with the most innovative and current curricula.  Mental health and gerontology nurse specialists are in critically short supply, especially in the wake of the pandemic and the opioid crisis.  Notre Dame has the ability to significantly address these needs.

“We can increase our nursing enrollment because we have room to grow as a program.  This grant is a big piece in making that happen,” said Gregory Knapik, DNP, associate professor of nursing and Choose Ohio First nursing coordinator.

The scholarships will be awarded on a graduated, needs-based scale.  Students will receive between $1,500 and $8,000 annually.  If students leave the program, they will forfeit their right to the scholarship.

The Notre Dame College nursing program is focused on giving “a lot of individual attention to each nursing student,” according to Knapik. This attention comes from the faculty and staff, as well as a peer mentoring program for sophomore nursing students provided by nursing students in their junior and senior years.

This academic support system is now augmented by the financial support provided by the Choose Ohio First scholarships.  True to our mission, the scholarships allow Notre Dame to help serve and support the nursing students who will soon serve and support Ohio communities.

“Students come to me and ask how they can afford to stay in the program.  It tugs at your heart.  With the COF scholarships, we can augment their financial aid and, all of a sudden, it becomes doable,” Knapik said, “We really go out of our way to help the students and support them.”

July 2022

About Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic, liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio, committed to teaching students how to make a good living and live a good life. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. For more information, visit