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$2 million estate gift establishes scholarship fund for nurses

Bluffton University has received a $2 million estate gift from the trust of Hazel Robinson that will allow for a new scholarship fund benefitting nursing majors. The Lehman-Huber-Zerhrbach Scholarship is named in memory of the late Robinson’s maternal grandmother, Jane Huber Lehman, and her parents, Henry Zehrbach and Emma Lehman Zehrbach.

The scholarships will be awarded to nursing majors with preference given to female nursing students from India at the benefactor’s request. The first scholarships will be awarded in the fall of 2023.

“Scholarships from this fund will be an integral element in recruiting and retaining students and providing opportunities for students who may need additional resources to pay for college,” said Dr. Sherri Winegardner, director of nursing at Bluffton.

Bluffton University offers a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). A special feature of the program is that students are able to sit for the NCLEX-RN (nursing exam for licensure) following successful completion of their third year of study. In the fourth year, Bluffton students are already registered nurses and have the ability to work as nurses as they complete their bachelor’s degree.

According to Winegardner, the need for BSN-prepared nurses has never been greater than at the current time.

“The demands for patient care due to the pandemic has resulted in needs in a multitude of health care settings that registered nurses are uniquely suited to fill,” said Winegardner. “In addition, research has shown that patient outcomes are improved when care is delivered by registered nurses prepared at the BSN level.”