The Independence Blue Cross Foundation has unveiled the Service Scholars Program, a pioneering initiative offering over 50 Philadelphia-area veterans scholarships and mentorship for nursing education. 

The $350,000 scholarship support aims to ease the financial barriers veterans face while pursuing nursing careers. Heather Major, Executive Director of the IBX Foundation, highlighted the program’s commitment to veterans continuing their service through nursing, emphasizing the unique challenges they encounter in accessing education. 

Traditional hurdles, including financial constraints and difficulties transferring military credits, hinder veterans’ progress in nursing programs. With the nation anticipating a nursing shortage, the Service Scholars Program not only addresses this gap but also sets a precedent for replication nationwide. 

Major envisions the program’s potential impact beyond Pennsylvania, stating, “We feel it’s replicable, and if it is replicated, imagine the impact that can have across the nation.” The inaugural group of veterans will be announced in early 2024, with the program commencing in the fall of the same year.