A partial image of a nursing student wearing scrubs and a stethoscope and holding a notebook.PALATINE — To help increase the number of professional nurses in Illinois, State Senator Ann Gillespie announced Harper College has been awarded $150,000 to strengthen its nursing program.

“Nursing programs like Harper College’s are vital as our state works to meet the needs of the health care industry,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “This funding will help students overcome financial barriers and access the academic support they need on their journey to becoming our community’s future caregivers.”

The Illinois Board of Higher Education awarded nursing school grants to 12 higher education institutions across the state, including $150,000 to Harper College. The college plans to use the funds for tutoring, scholarships, faculty professional development opportunities and community-building efforts for current students.

The nursing school grant program is designed to enhance nursing programs and support efforts to close equity gaps in enrollment, course completion, graduation and licensure by underrepresented students. Grants were awarded through a competitive application process where institutions submitted enrollment, retention, completion and job placement rates of their students during a multi-year period and how grant funds would be used to enhance their program’s efforts to close equity gaps and improve student success.

View the list of nursing school grant awardees across the state here.