CFCC gifted a large check supporting its nursing program

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —Cape Fear Community College announced an expansion supporting its nursing program and students, thanks to a $400,000 gift.

The $400,000 was gifted to the college by Dan Saklad, in memory of his wife Sheila. The gift will benefit the Cape Fear Community College and New Hanover Regional Medical Center Foundations.

The Sheila M. Saklad Accelerated Nursing Fellowship is one of the initiatives supported by the $400,000 gift, helping students in CFCC’s accelerated LPN to RN program. It will help pay for tuition, books, supplies, a new laptop, and the recipient will receive money to help with living expenses.

Fraley Johnson is the first CFCC nursing student to receive the fellowship.

“It’s an amazing feeling to know that you have someone that wants to help, and understands the stress, and stuff that comes behind sacrifice, –ideally it’s a sacrifice, of going back to school. Especially, when you have children. I have three children, a family, a household to maintain. So, being able to have some of that burden taken off really helps a lot,” said Fraley Johnson, fellowship recipient.

The Upward Mobility RN Scholarship, is another initiative supported by the donation. It allows Novant New Hanover Regional Medical Center employees to receive up to two years of full tuition coverage for their licensing program.

“We’re very reliant on the programs, nursing programs, and other programs at cape fear community college, and other community colleges to help us build that pipeline for future nurses going forward,” said Sherbourn Stevens, NHRMC and Novant Health of the coastal market president.

CFCC’s president said these initiatives will help the local healthcare system, as the need for nurses increases during the pandemic.

“New Hanover County, Pender, and the entire region, the demand for nurses is increasing. It’s not going down. COVID has been a challenge for those nurses, and we had – a lot of nurses have retired and so we have really go to step it up on graduating more nurses and this is the first –one of the first steps towards that,” said Jim Morton, CFCC president.

Johnson says she is glad to serve her community.

“I’ve actually worked the entire time through COVID, and so I’ve been full hands on with COVID, and following along, helping out as much as I can. So, knowing that I’m able to now –with getting my RN license, being able to help more, and to have more of a role in helping, that makes a big difference, and it makes me feel a lot better. It makes me feel like I’m doing more for my community,” said Johnson.

Officials say Saklad’s gift of $400,000 will ensure eighteen new nurses enter the healthcare field.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, Top Stories

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