Christmas came a little early this year for Howard College nursing students and their program thanks to a recent gift from the G.C Broughton, Jr. Foundation (Foundation).
The $250,000 gift will fund full tuition, fees, and books for current nursing program students on the Big Spring campus as well as the purchase of a new Demo Dose Med Dispenser system that will be utilized in the simulation lab.
“This is such a wonderful gift of education for our nursing students,” said Dr. Cheryl T. Sparks, President. “We are so grateful to the G.C. Broughton, Jr. Foundation for their support of our students as well as their investment in the success of our college and community. When Jim Weaver, Secretary-Treasurer called to share this benevolent action on behalf of the Foundation for our students and faculty, it was overwhelming knowing what these students and faculty have experienced.”
With the current demand on the healthcare industry in the midst of the pandemic, the Foundation saw this as an opportunity to help the nursing students which in turn will make it easier for them to finish their degrees and certificates and enter the workforce. The waves of benefit from the gift will be far reaching as it touches the students, the college, the healthcare industry and the Howard County community at large.
The donation will provide the full tuition, fees, and books for approximately 52 nursing students that are currently enrolled in the Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) program that will be graduating in May 2021, enrolled in the LVN to Associate Degree Nursing (AND/RN) Transition nursing program that will graduate in October 2021, and enrolled in the first and second year AND/RN program that will be graduating in May 2021 and May 2022, respectively.
“Our nursing students have shown a lot of grit and determination as they have been getting their education and preparing to enter the healthcare industry during the middle of a global pandemic” added Sparks. “Assisting them with the cost of their education and helping relieve a little of their stress through this generous donation was the impetus of the Foundation’s gift and is a real game changer for them. Our students and faculty have courageously battled through clinicals while watching our stellar health care professionals in their art and science of serving others.”
The Demo Dose Med Dispenser system that will be purchased with some of the donated funds is a piece of simulation equipment that better prepares students for medication administration when they enter the workforce.
“Howard College is always looking for innovative ways to improve the way we educate our students,” said Sparks. “It is a constant challenge to have updated, cutting-edge equipment for the learning experience. This new medication dispensing simulation equipment mimics what is actually used in the hospital setting and will aide in the transition from the classroom learning to actual practice in the field.”
The G.C. Broughton, Jr. Foundation is a longtime friend and partner of the college, having provided donations for the construction of the G.C. Broughton Jr. Ag Complex supporting the agriculture education program as well as area agriculture programs and projects.
G.C. Broughton, Jr. was born and raised in Big Spring and led a life dedicated to the agriculture industry. He also served as a member of the Howard College Foundation Board. In 1983, he established his foundation to continue service to the Howard County community.
Following his death in 2001, his wife, Jean Broughton-Powell, retained leadership of the foundation and has carried out his original mission while expanding the reach to other areas of interest which includes support of the healthcare industry as well. A previous donation for renovation of the college library will soon be implemented as another gesture of benevolence to the future growth of the community.
President of the Foundation, Jean Broughton-Powell, is fondly remembered as a master teacher and school administrator in the community for her lasting influence in the lives of many young people. Through the years, she has given multiple scholarships. She understands the value and impact of education and continues to do her part to invest in the futures of others as well as the community.“I can’t think of a better way to head into our winter break,” added Sparks. “Being able to share this information with our nursing program students and provide them some financial relief right here at the holidays has been somewhat of a Christmas miracle playing out before our eyes.”