WEST LIBERTY — West Liberty University recently was gifted with a $25,000 donation that will result in a newly funded nursing scholarship to provide students interested in nursing careers with financial assistance in earning their degree.
“I am so grateful to the Ohio Valley General Hospital (OVGH) School of Nursing alumni association for endowing this new and much needed scholarship. Nurses are needed now more than ever,” said Angela Zambito Hill, president of the WLU Foundation.
Retired nurse April Edwards of Shadyside, Ohio, was the initial contact from the OVGH Alumni Association, working with the WLU Foundation for several years to set up the scholarship and provide the initial endowment check.
“We’re proud to provide the scholarship money for students who need financial assistance and proud to be associated with WLU,” said Ruth Murphy of Barnesville, Ohio, who serves as president of the OVGH alumni association.
The intention is to help nontraditional nursing students earn their degree, noted Murphy.
“We are particularly pleased to accept this scholarship based on the historic relationship between WLU’s nursing program, and the OVGH School of Nursing which was very helpful when we began our program,” said Rose Kutlenios, chair of the Department of Nursing.
The OVGH alumni group was founded in the 1980s and remains active, even though the Ohio Valley General Hospital School of Nursing was closed in 1988, according to records kept by the Ohio County Public Library archives.
“When our School of Nursing closed, the student nurses transferred to West Liberty to complete their degrees,” said Murphy.
Initially known as the City Hospital Training School for Nurses, it opened in conjunction with Wheeling’s City Hospital in 1892 and was the first nursing school in West Virginia. Even now, the alumni association meets five times a year and sends out newsletters to about 500 members.
Students in West Liberty’s nursing program can choose from both the traditional nursing baccalaureate program and the BA-BS to BSN or second-degree program.