$2 million grant to provide scholarships to attract nursing students

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing has been awarded a $2 million gift to create the Joanne and William Conway Nursing Scholarship Program. The gift will be used over four years to recruit and support Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) students. Joanne and William E. Conway Jr. recommended the gift through their donor-advised fund, the Bedford Falls Foundation-DAF.

“This prestigious scholarship program will provide important financial support to students who already hold a degree and are forging a new pathway by embarking on a nursing career,” said Christine E. Kasper, PhD, RN, School of Nursing dean and professor. “We are deeply grateful for the Conways’ generous support through the Bedford Falls Foundation-DAF.”

Philanthropists Joanne Conway and William E. Conway Jr., co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group, have given millions to support nursing education and scholarships to address the nation’s nursing workforce shortage.

“The demand for nurses continues to grow, and not everyone who comes into the profession does so in the ‘traditional’ manner,” said Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine at Pitt. “It is important that we lower the barriers to education for those who are called to nursing as a second career, and we thank the Conways for their support in making a degree possible for scores of students.”

The Joanne and William Conway Nursing Scholarship Program will award, on average, $8,000 per ABSN student per year through the 2026-2027 academic year—ultimately funding 60 students per academic year at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing who will be known as “Conway Scholars.”

“Nurses are essential to the health of our country,” said Bill Conway. “By reducing the financial burden for nursing students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, we can support the school in addressing the nation’s critical nursing shortage. We know many of these students dream of receiving a high-quality nursing education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, and they shouldn’t face a burden of debt.”

“This gift will allow the school to offer much-needed financial support to students taking on the challenge of a second degree to pursue a career in nursing,” said Julius Kitutu, PhD, MSC, School of Nursing associate dean for student affairs and alumni relations and chief diversity officer. “The Conways’ generosity will have an enormous impact in relieving students’ financial burden while helping them achieve their dreams of becoming a nurse.”

More information about the ABSN program can be found HERE.