From left to right: Bruce Henderson, Catherine Comben and Sheldon Paulger with Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation executive director. (Contributed)

Major Rotary gift supports nursing education at Kelowna post-secondary schools

Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) are each receiving $50,000

The Rotary Club of Kelowna Foundation Reichwald Fund is gifting a $100,000 donation in support of the education of Registered Nurses (RNs) at Kelowna’s major post-secondary institutions.

Okanagan College and the University of British Columbia Okanagan (UBCO) are each $50,000 to support high-quality skills training and provide financial support for students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.

“We are thrilled to support our future health care workers in Kelowna and throughout the Valley,” said Catherine Comben, Rotary Club of Kelowna Foundation board chair.

“We know that nursing care in our community is as diverse as it is vital. From Critical Care Nurses, Geriatric, Mental, RNs to LPNs – we need to support the specialist spaces they will train in, and support and celebrate their educational achievements.”

READ MORE: Class resumption raises challenges for Central Okanagan schools

The remaining $20,000 will create two annual student awards of $2,000 each for BSN students.

“This gift will help the college to continue providing the highest quality of education by learning in a world-class facility,” said Helen Jackman, Okanagan College Foundation executive director.

“Our small class sizes, combined with new student support, will help students excel and be ready to serve our community. We are very thankful for this generous gift at a time when we truly recognize the importance of skilled frontline nursing professionals. It will ensure high-quality nursing care continues in our region for decades to come.”

At UBCO, the $50,000 gift will create awards for BSN students in their third and fourth years of education. The support during the final years is critical, according to professor Marie Tarrant, director of UBCO’s School of Nursing.

“In years three and four the demand on our students is high, the clinical placements are intense and the content is demanding,” said Tarrant, adding some students are mature with families and other responsibilities.

“We’re very grateful that these awards can help relieve the financial burden on the students so they can focus on the program.”

The Okanagan College Foundation is inviting the public to help reach its $5-million goal for the Our Students, Your Health campaign. The campaign will help Okanagan College complete the construction of its new Health Sciences Centre, set to open later this fall. To learn more or to donate, visit OurStudentsYourHealth.ca.

READ MORE: ‘We’re glad you’re here’: Positive note left on Alberta car at Kelowna beach


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Email me at daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com
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