February 4, 2023

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2/19/21 Penn Medicine Kylie Cooper

Penn Medicine launches the ASPIRE program at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital with La Salle University and the Howley Foundation.

Photo credit: Kylie Cooper

In partnership with La Salle University and the Howley Foundation, Penn Medicine launched the ASPIRE program at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital.

The ASPIRE program, supported by a $7.5 million donation from the Howley Foundation, is a program designed for juniors interested in pursuing a career in nursing. The Penn ASPIRE program is based on a program model first implemented by the Cleveland Clinic in 2017.

As part of the program, 25 ASPIRE grantees will receive interactive training, on-site presence and mentoring opportunities. Upon completion of the program, scholars will receive a $500 stipend and an invitation to rejoin the program during their senior year.

The ASPIRE program aims to promote diversity in the nursing workforce and support economic mobility. Currently, 81% of registered nurses in the United States are white women, according to PhillyVoice.

“ASPIRE is firmly aligned with the goals of Penn Medicine and HUP to provide pipeline opportunities for members of our community to continue to cultivate an inclusive workforce and provide excellent patient care,” said Colleen Mattioni, Chief Nurse Executive at HUP the almanac.

ASPIRE encourages students who are dissuaded from pursuing a career in nursing for financial or personal reasons to apply.

Beth Smith, corporate director of nursing professional development, told the Almanac that this program will provide growth opportunities for individuals who may not have had a chance to learn about the nursing profession in the past.

“Those who start nursing school may not have much experience in the field unless they volunteered somewhere or maybe [if] They have family members who are nurses,” Smith told the Almanac.

After ASPIRE Scholars graduate from high school, they are given the opportunity to enroll at La Salle University with scholarship assistance to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. Scholarship holders also have the opportunity to work part-time at HUP even after graduation.

“We are pleased to see the ASPIRE program grow over time and look forward to creating an environment where ASPIRE grantees can thrive academically and professionally,” Smith told the Almanac.

The ASPIRE program will enroll its first cohort in early 2023.

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