To help solve the nursing shortage crisis, Berry College, a Sullivan Foundation partner school, plans to double its number of nursing graduates. To that end, an Atlanta philanthropist has donated $5 million for nursing scholarships at Berry, and the college has recruited a top leader to direct its growing program.

The philanthropist, Audrey B. Morgan, is a self-made businesswoman known for her longtime generosity to Berry students.

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Dr. Carolyn Reilly, Berry College’s newly hired Division of Nursing director, said Berry’s commitment to expanding its nursing program is “a robust response to this crisis.”

We will grow the number of well-qualified students who may not have the financial resources to attend Berry,” Reilly said.

Reilly has an extensive history as a critical care nurse, clinical nurse specialist and academic. She earned her Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Nebraska and her master’s degree in nursing from Emory. Her passion today lies in helping to shape nurses for our future.

“We really have to meet the growing need for nurses,” she said. “I hope to take an already stellar program, with a solid reputation for producing quality nurses, and expand our size, scope and depth.” 

Reilly and her team are also developing a fast-track program for students entering with dual/AP credit from high school to allow for completion with a BSN a full semester early.

Beyond receiving more than 650 hours of direct clinical care, signature to the nursing program at Berry is a summer immersion for students between their junior and senior years in which they experience clinical nursing care in developing nations. Africa is on tap for 2023. 

This article has been edited slightly from the original version appearing on the Berry College website.

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