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The purpose of this grant is to provide funding to Mars Hill University’s (MHU) new School of Nursing to assist with the maintenance and expansion of the rural North Carolina healthcare workforce. The program will concentrate on the skilled, diverse nursing workforce reflective of the disadvantaged populations in rural and underserved counties in North Carolina.Community-based clinical sites in rural areas have already been secured through partnerships with area hospitals and their physician networks.Area healthcare providers have openings for BSN-prepared nurses or diploma nurses and nurses with an associate degree who commit to achieving a BSN within a specified time range.MHU’s RN-to-BSN program will address this need, allowing at least 25 RNs to earn their BSN annually while maintaining employment or to obtain employment at area providers.Once the School is fully operational, an additional 25 students will earn a BSN annually through the program. Golden LEAF funds will be used primarily for simulation equipment and one year of personnel costs.