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Nurses graduate with more skill and less debt through Conway Nursing Pathway Program at Children's National Hospital

The Pathway Program will benefit more nurses and pediatric patients next year with a $1.75 million gift from William and Joanne Conway

Children’s National Hospital today announced a second year of success for its Conway Nursing Pathway Program, during a time of heightened stress for health care providers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program offers scholarship, mentorship and work study for nurses at all stages of their careers, aiming to deepen career satisfaction and reduce the financial burden of higher education. The result is better care for children from more passionate, experienced nurses.

Since its launch in 2019, the Pathway Program has helped nurses avoid nearly $600,000 in student debt. 

Pathway participants maintained their in-person study and mentorship throughout the pandemic. Makayla James is one of eight 2021 Pathway graduates. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
“With only half of my financial obligations covered, there was always a looming worry of where the rest of the money would come from,” James says. “The financial support given by the Conway family has alleviated so much stress that comes with financial burdens.”

The Pathway Program, founded by William and Joanne Conway, is named in honor of their partnership with Children’s National and their dedication to the field of nursing. With their recent gift of $1.75 million, the program is expected to double its enrollment.

In total, the Conways have generously donated more than $6 million to the hospital, including support for care providers during the pandemic and the establishment of one of the nation’s first academic chairs in nurse-led research. 

"Joanne and I are pleased to support nursing education at Children's National that will prepare our nurses for the challenges of today and tomorrow," says William Conway, co-founder and co-executive chair of The Carlyle Group and trustee of the Bedford Falls Foundation with his wife Joanne. "Reducing the financial burden for nurses will remove a key barrier in building and strengthening the nursing pipeline. We proudly partner with Children's National to invest in the future of nurses to provide the best, most compassionate care possible."

Children’s National received its third Magnet® designation in 2021, a designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Magnet-designated hospitals have demonstrated lower patient mortality, fewer medical complications, improved patient and employee safety, and higher patient and staff satisfaction. Only 7% of hospitals across the country achieve the designation; even fewer are pediatric hospitals.

“We understand the value of investing in the future of nursing,” says Linda Talley, M.S., R.N., N.E.-B.C., F.A.A.N., vice president of Nursing and chief nursing officer. “At a time when our community needed help more than ever, we stayed the course. The Conway Nursing Pathway Program ensured that the doors of opportunity remained open.”

Children’s National recognizes that dedicating more time to the individual needs of pediatric nurses helps build strength and resiliency and reinforces interpersonal and learning skills associated with career satisfaction. This is especially true for new nurses like James.

“The field of nursing is comprised of individuals who are called to fulfill a duty of service to all people. By working with children, I will not only make a difference in a life, but I will be able to make a difference in a lifetime.” 

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