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Nursing Program Receives $400,000 Scholarship Support

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

HELENA – Carroll College recently received generous scholarship support for its nursing program through its annual student scholarship fundraising event. Billings businessman Mike Gustafson and his wife Charlene pledged $200,000 through Carroll’s annual Founders Gala. The Gustafson’s gift provided an incentive that the college match the $200,000 with added scholarship support. Additional donations matched the gift and brought the total to $400,000 available for scholarships for Carroll’s nursing program. Mike and Charlene Gustafson requested that the scholarship program be named in memory of Sister Marie Damian Glatt, who is the former CEO of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth (SCL).

“The Gustafson’s gift was extraordinary and with this donation and the generosity of those who matched it, the $400,000 will provide significant support to students in Carroll’s nursing program, which has its inception tied directly to the SCL hospital-based nursing programs established in 1909 in Billings, Butte, and Helena,” said Carroll College President John Cech. SCL transitioned their nursing education programs entirely to Carroll College beginning in 1943 with the transition completed in 1946 to create a bachelor level RN nursing program.

Since that time, Carroll’s nursing program has grown to become the second largest single standing nursing program in Montana with approximately 48 students graduating each year and NCLEX RN pass rates averaging between 95-100%. In addition, the college has begun a new Accelerated Nursing program where students who already have earned their bachelor’s degree and meet entry requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Carroll can earn their nursing degree in 15 months. The Accelerated Nursing program began last May with 18 students and is actively recruiting its next cohort of 20 students scheduled to begin in May of 2022. Carroll's undergraduate nursing program coupled with Accelerated Nursing has a total enrollment capacity of 164 students.

“I was extremely impressed with Carroll’s nursing program and its state-of-the-art simulation center and training facilities when I visited earlier this autumn,” said Mike Gustafson. “I was so moved I wanted to help the students and see if our gift could be leveraged to grow scholarship support for this impressive program. I was pleased when President Cech shared with me that our gift had been matched making $400,000 available for scholarships.” Gustafson went on to say that he would like to challenge others to continue to give to Carroll’s nursing scholarship program in memory of Sister Marie Damian. “Sister would be so grateful for support for young people to be able to become nurses through Carroll’s program which through its beginnings with SCL has existed now for 112 years.”   

For more information on supporting Carroll’s nursing scholarships, contact Carroll College Vice President for Advancement, Chris Aimone at 406-447-4445 or caimone@carroll.edu.