Foundation awards Abington $7,000 for nursing scholarships

Penn State Abington nursing partnership

Penn State Abington Chancellor Damian J. Fernandez with nursing students Joelle Liwerant and Elyssa Pizza.

Credit: Pam Brobst

ABINGTON, Pa. — The Independence Blue Cross Foundation (IBC Foundation) awarded the Penn State Abington RN to BSN in nursing program $7,000 to fund undergraduate nursing scholarships for underserved populations.

The Nurses for Tomorrow scholarships from the IBC Foundation are available to part- and full-time nursing students who reside in the Philadelphia region. The amounts range from $500 to $2,500.

Janice Penrod, interim dean of the Penn State College of Nursing, said the scholarships will have a ripple effect.

"Our collaboration with Independence Blue Cross Foundation is an example of the kind of strategic partnerships that we aim to build in order to sustain the College of Nursing’s vision of excellence,” she said. “The impact of this type of support is significant for our underserved populations and, by extension, to Pennsylvania’s communities as a whole.”

Brenda M. Holtzer, assistant professor and coordinator of the RN to BSN program at Abington, said many of the scholarships will be earmarked for first-generation college students.

“I have targeted the scholarships for our community college students who are first generation, demonstrate financial need, reside in Philadelphia and surrounding counties, and able to complete our program full time,” Holtzer said.

Abington recently forged a partnership with Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) that allows MCCC students and county residents to earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the College of Nursing with the convenience of taking courses at MCCC.

Beginning in August, Abington faculty will teach courses in the RN to BSN program on MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell, about 30 minutes from Abington. It is open to any diploma or associate degree graduate with an RN license and a minimum 2.0 grade-point average from their nursing education.

Gifts from Penn State’s alumni and friends have been essential to the success of the University’s historic land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun “A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence,” a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives of a public university. Private support will keep the door to higher education open and enable students to graduate on time and on track to success; create transformative experiences on Penn State campuses and around the globe that tap the full potential of Penn Staters to make a difference; and impact the world through discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit

Penn State Abington, formerly the Ogontz campus, offers baccalaureate degrees in 18 majors at its suburban location just north of Philadelphia. Nearly half of our 4,000 students complete all four years at Abington, with opportunities in undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics and more. Students can start the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors at Abington and complete their degrees at University Park or another campus. Lions Gate, our first residence hall, will open in August.