Nurses union funds YSU endowment

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association, which represented nurses at Northside Regional Medical Center in Youngstown for more than 50 years, is donating $300,000 to establish a scholarship endowment for nursing students at Youngstown State University.

“With the unfortunate closing of Northside Hospital, the YGDNA’s future activities are in question,” Laurie Hornberger, YGDNA president and a YSU graduate, said in a press release. “We can think of no better use of these funds than to support future generations of nurses. The decision to create this scholarship is consistent with the support and belief in our Youngstown community.”

Hornberger said the funds represent collected local dues that are intended to benefit the community and foster future nursing care.

Northside Regional Medical Center, which opened on Gypsy Lane in Youngstown in 1929, closed on Sept. 20, 2018. Nearly 190 nurses lost their jobs. YGDNA has represented registered nurses at the medical center since 1966.

“Our thanks to all of the nurses at Northside, past and present, and many of whom earned their degrees right here at YSU, for this generous donation and for their support of the YSU nursing program and the region’s future nursing workforce,” YSU President Jim Tressel said in the release.

In addition to the scholarship, the donation establishes an exhibit at the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor documenting the history of YGDNA, which was the first union of nurses in Ohio and the second union of nurses in the nation. The exhibit will focus on YGDNA’s contributions to local health care, professional nurses and protection of workers’ rights.

The scholarship will be presented annually to YSU nursing majors with a minimum grade point average of 2.75. The award is renewable for up to three years. Recipients will be selected by a committee of the nursing program, in conjunction with the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships and the YSU Foundation.

The Department of Nursing at YSU, started in 1967, enrolls more than 350 undergraduate students and 80 graduate students and boasts more than 4,300 alumni. Ninety-five percent of students earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing are employed in their field within six months of graduation. Those students provide more than 100,000 clinical service hours to the community each academic year.