Colby-Sawyer College, in coordination with a generous gift from the family of Carole and Joseph Brophy, has created a scholarship fund to directly benefit students pursuing a graduate degree in nursing.

The Carole A. and Joseph T. Brophy Masters in Nursing Scholarship Fund, named in honor of the husband and wife’s longstanding support of the college’s nursing program, was made possible by a $25,000 gift from the Brophy family. The scholarship fund will defray more than 60% of the cost of the first-two master’s level courses taken by students who enter the program by Fall 2020.

Carole, a lifelong nurse, and Joseph, a former EMT, retired in the Lake Sunapee Region in 1998, and quickly immersed themselves in the Colby-Sawyer community through its Adventures in Learning program. The two became adamant supporters of the college’s nursing program, and helped fund educational and professional development opportunities for faculty. The couple was perhaps most infamous for inviting the college’s senior nursing students to their home every spring to celebrate their upcoming graduation and offer advice.

“The generosity of the Brophy family, known for their tremendous support of the college’s nursing students, will make an immediate impact on the college,” said Kevin Finn, dean of the School of Nursing & Health Sciences. “This scholarship will allow students who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to pursue a graduate degree, or who may have been putting it off, the ability to get the ball rolling.”

Designed to accommodate the unique needs of the working nurse, Colby-Sawyer introduced its 37-credit MSN program in fall 2016 with a single Clinical Nurse Leader track. That initial cohort consisted of 12 registered nurses employed by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health (D-HH), of which four had earned their B.S. in nursing at Colby-Sawyer. Upon graduation, all 12 nurses passed the CNL certification exam on the first attempt, far surpassing the average national pass rate for a class of 70% over the previous seven years.

This fall, Colby-Sawyer will begin offering two additional tracks within its MSN program, Nursing Education and Nursing Management & Executive Leadership, to provide additional opportunities for those looking to advance their nursing careers. Both tracks will follow the asynchronous online, 8-week course format of the CNL track, with courses competitively priced at $600 per credit, or $575 a credit for Colby-Sawyer alumni and employees of D-HH.

With assistance from the Carole A. and Joseph T. Brophy Masters in Nursing Scholarship Fund, students new to the college’s MSN program enrolled by Fall 2020 will receive a $1,350 scholarship toward their first course, and a $825 scholarship toward their second course. Courses for the fall semester begin Sept. 1.

“As we face a shortage of nursing professionals in healthcare, these scholarships will allow nurses who already work in the field the opportunity to pursue graduate education,” Finn said. “We are grateful for the support from the Brophy family.”