Mercy’s Win From Within Program: A Win-Win for East Central College Students

May 29, 2024

WASHINGTON, Mo. - As the nursing shortage continues, Mercy Hospital Washington and East Central College (ECC) – two of the area’s largest employers – are teaming up to offer a new program that pays tuition and other expenses for nursing students.

Win From Within students work at Mercy Hospital Washington as patient care associates or in non-clinical support roles as paid, part-time co-workers while attending ECC’s nursing program. Upon completing the first semester of the nursing program, students transition into a nurse tech role and, ultimately, a nursing position at Mercy Hospital Washington after graduation. 

Mercy doctor's coat

“We heard from co-workers and others in the community that they’d love to go to nursing school, but the upfront cost can be a factor,” said Elizabeth Gillam, Mercy Hospital Washington chief nursing officer. “This program is a win-win. We are able to fill some open roles while at the same time help these co-workers earn a nursing degree with no out-of-pocket cost to them and the peace of mind for us to know they will stay with us after graduation.”

The program is offered at other Mercy hospitals and schools, but this is a first for Mercy Washington and ECC students.

“We have common goals for nursing education in the Franklin County and surrounding communities, and we know students who attend and graduate from ECC are more likely to remain in the area – shown by the many of registered nurses at Mercy Washington who are ECC alumni,” said Nancy Mitchell, ECC dean of health science. “We have worked collaboratively with Mercy in our community for more than 40 years, and Mercy’s ‘Win From Within’ program is yet another innovative opportunity we are excited to support. It will remove or reduce financial barriers for many who seek a health care education and help fill industry needs.”

Mercy doctor's coat

The program is open to any Mercy co-worker interested in pursuing a nursing degree, even new hires. Mercy pays up to $10,000 per year for eligible expenses, paid directly to the school (up to three years). Students must be enrolled in an ECC nursing program, must work a minimum of eight hours per week and sign a contract that states they will remain with Mercy after graduation up to three years.

To learn more, contact [email protected] or Megan Schoeber at [email protected].