ADVANCE cohort works toward nursing degree

Members of the ADVANCE cohort are pictured in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. The program provides assistance to working nurses who want to earn a bachelor's degree. At far right is program coordinator Victoria Hecksel-Lantz.
Members of the ADVANCE cohort are pictured in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences. The program provides assistance to working nurses who want to earn a bachelor's degree. At far right is program coordinator Victoria Hecksel-Lantz.
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Megan Hulsebos has an associate’s degree in nursing and works on an on-call basis for St. Mary’s Health Care. When she earns a bachelor’s degree in nursing, her job opportunities will likely widen.

Hulsebos is among 14 nursing students enrolled in Kirkhof College of Nursing’s ADVANCE program. The new grant program offers stipends and necessary resources to students and working nurses who want to earn bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

Last year, Elaine Van Doren, associate dean for KCON undergraduate programs, received a $773,837 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish ADVANCE and increase diversity within the RN-BSN program. Grand Valley partnered with Grand Rapids Community College and Muskegon Community College for the three-year program.

ADVANCE students must have an associate’s degree in nursing and be economically or ducationally disadvantaged. Victoria Hecksel-Lantz, program coordinator, said a cohort of 20 students will be enrolled for the winter semester.