Memorial Hospital is the flagship of South Bend-based Beacon Health

More Indiana-based health systems are forging partnerships with Ivy Tech Community College to help bolster their nursing ranks. Beacon Health System, which is headquartered in South Bend, is collaborating with Ivy Tech on a new program to attract nursing students and keep them in northern Indiana after they graduate.

The new model in South Bend-Elkhart is designed to offer educational incentives to increase student enrollment and develop a pipeline of nurses to work in local healthcare. The collaboration will establish the Beacon Health System School of Nursing at Ivy Tech.

The health system says starting in fall 2022, nursing students will have the opportunity to become part of the Beacon Scholars Program.

Recipients will have the cost of their Ivy Tech education, including books, covered by Beacon Health. The health system says it will also provide these students with a living stipend and future employment as a Beacon Health nurse.

Ivy Tech Chancellor Dr. David Balkin said the alliance represents not only an investment in nurses, but also the creation of new educational opportunities that can impact the health of our communities.

“We are grateful to the entire Beacon team for their dedication to the South Bend-Elkhart area and for their service, creativity and generosity as we work together to address the critical need for nurses in our region” said Ivy Tech Chancellor David Balkin. “We hope that our collaboration model will be replicated locally and throughout the state to meet Indiana’s need for well-trained staff in all aspects of our healthcare system.”

Beacon says it will also provide additional nursing faculty resources through current Beacon nurses and making additional investments in facility improvements at Ivy Tech.

Earlier this week, Indiana University Health announced it was giving Ivy Tech a nearly $9 million grant to expand its nursing program. The school says the money will go towards investments in equipment, supplies and faculty.