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McMurry Foundation Donates $1 Million to UW School of Nursing

March 20, 2012

Casper's Wyoming Medical Center (WMC) nurses and area nurses will soon have the opportunity to advance their degrees in nursing, thanks to a $1 million donation to the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing at the University of Wyoming.

The donation, made by the McMurry Foundation, will increase the opportunities for nurses to earn a bachelor's degree or higher, and it also will extend that opportunity to those with bachelor's degrees in other fields who wish to earn a nursing degree from UW.

For years, UW and WMC (one of the state's largest hospitals) have collaborated to increase educational opportunities for nurses in Wyoming. As the decade moved to a close in 2010, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies released nursing goals for 2020, goals that included the increase of BSN-prepared nurses to 80 percent.

This goal emerged out of research demonstrating that patients have better clinical outcomes when their nurses hold higher educational degrees. The two organizations are grateful for the generous donation; a scholarship dedicated solely for the educational advancement of nursing will better position Wyoming to meet that goal.

When approached with the proposal for this donation, the McMurry Foundation wasted no time. "This scholarship will serve to strengthen the efforts of UW and WMC through opportunity and through achievement, which will be measured by the pride these future graduates feel, and by the pride their families feel in them," said Susie McMurry.

About the gift:

Wyoming Medical Center benefits: The McMurrys' investment and partnership with the University of Wyoming creates opportunities for the nursing staff at WMC and those within the greater community to smoothly transition to higher education. Higher education means positive patient outcomes resulting from quality nursing and team efforts. ­

Area nurses and prospective nurses' benefit: Scholarship monies are available through UW to those nurses who wish to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing; or to those individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in another field and desire a nursing degree.

­Patients' benefit: The McMurry gift is in alignment with the National Institute of Medicine's goal for Nursing's Future 2020, which is to reach a goal of 80 percent of all practicing registered nurses to be at the baccalaureate level with their education. This goal has emerged out of research demonstrating that patients have better clinical outcomes when their nurses hold higher educational degrees.

­Students Interested in programs and scholarships can contact Susan Christman, assistant lecturer and nursing adviser for McMurry McWin Scholarships, email, phone (307) 472-1015.

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