An Ohio Nursing Student’s Parents Liked Her Nursing School So Much They Gave the School $1 Million

Meg Lambrych, RN-BC
Updated November 17, 2023
Edited by
    A student's family donated $1 million to the Case Western Reserve's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in Ohio, which is dedicated to clinical faculty recruitment.
    Medical professional shaking hands with business person, in front of medical teamCredit: Getty Images
    • One nursing student’s family donated $1 million to create an endowment at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University to help recruit and retain nursing school faculty.
    • The Daigle Family credits the nursing school’s dedication to clinical excellence and thorough preparation of new nurses as their motivation for the gift.

    Beth and David Daigle understand the importance of selecting the right nursing school. So when their daughter, Celia, was exploring her college options, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland stood out because of its rigorous commitment to clinical care and academic excellence.

    With Ceila graduating this year, the Daigles were so pleased with their daughter’s experience that they decided to donate $1 million to the nursing school.

    “A gift of this magnitude significantly impacts our ability to attract the best faculty,” Carol Musil, the school’s dean, told NurseJournal.

    According to Musil, the gift will be used to recruit clinical faculty, who are essential to educating future bedside nurses and advanced practice providers of tomorrow.

    “There are many clinically focused faculty here, and we want to help provide for the programs and resources to support these faculty and to reward and celebrate them for their achievements,” David Daigle said in a statement announcing the gift.

    How Case Western Will Improve Faculty Recruitment

    According to Musil, the gift will be used to create an endowment for a competitive clinical position to help the school recruit the best and brightest clinical faculty — an ongoing challenge for many nursing schools in the midst of faculty shortages.

    Holding a chair position is an honor and a recruitment tool that the most competitive schools utilize in academia, school officials noted.

    The endowment will free up money each year for the chair’s salary or to support their academic work in other ways.

    According to the dean, an endowed chair is typically a five-year appointment and will be instrumental in attracting top talent to the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing.

    “Both research and clinical practice are critical. This endowment will allow us to honor those faculty who have made important contributions to clinical practice to assure the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing has the best faculty around.”

    Nursing School Faculty Shortage: A Persistent Problem

    The nursing faculty shortage in the U.S. mirrors the greater nursing shortage in many ways and directly contributes to it. As with many clinical nursing positions, the average age of nursing faculty places them close to retirement, and ⅓ of current faculty plans to retire by 2025.

    This problem is worsened by many schools’ inability to fill vacancies due to a variety of issues, including:

    • Schools do not offer competitive salaries
    • There are not enough DNP-prepared candidates
    • Most open teaching positions are for bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) programs only
    • Many open positions are non-tenure track
    • Candidates must commit to teaching clinical and classroom courses

    As the nursing shortage worsens nationwide, it’s more important than ever that nursing schools are financially supported to attract and retain top academic talent who will teach the next generation of nurses.

    While the challenges contributing to the nursing faculty shortage are complex and multifactorial, donations like the one made by the Daigle family make a difference in the lives of the faculty responsible for educating new nurses.

    “We just celebrated our 100th anniversary here at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, and we take great pride in the legacy and the influence that our school has had on the discipline of nursing,” said Dean Musil. “A gift like this confirms for me that the good we are doing and our hard work is being recognized and appreciated.”