New Helene Fuld Health Trust Gift supports nursing Master’s students

By Michelle Hiskey | March 17, 2021

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J. Michael Moore
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A generous philanthropic partner who helped transform the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing two decades ago made a recent significant gift to help master students prepare for nursing service. 

The Helene Fuld Health Trust made a $600,000 gift commitment that will provide tuition support to students in the Master of Nursing (MN) program. 

The gift establishes the permanently endowed Helene Fuld Health Trust Scholarship, and income from the endowment will enable the School of Nursing to award annual scholarships to students pursuing MN degrees. Because endowed funds take time to become available, the gift also provided immediate scholarship funds, and four current students have received awards of $10,000 each for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

“The Helene Fuld Health Trust supports our mission to make a nursing education possible, and we are grateful,” said Dean Linda A. McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAAOHN. “Student debt remains a huge problem across the United States and this gift allows greater financial aid resources to meet this need for Emory nurses.”

Helene Fuld (1858-1923) was a health care advocate and educator whose children created a foundation in her memory to help those suffering from illness. The Helene Fuld Health Trust is the nation's largest private funder devoted exclusively to nursing education and students. Its $5 million gift in 2002 was the largest gift in the School of Nursing’s history. The Helene Fuld Health Trust also gave $6.5 million in 2013.

“The Fuld Foundation partnership has been integral for our progress from regional leadership to a national leadership in nursing education,” said Associate Dean and Chief Operating Officer Jasmine G. Hoffman, noting that the School of Nursing is ranked No. 5 nationally for master’s programs by US News & World Report. “The funding helps us attract and retain the best students regardless of socioeconomic disparities. The health care marketplace needs nurses, and this generous philanthropy and endowed scholarship supports the training of Emory nurses now and in the future.”

Emory’s accelerated BSN/MSN program allows students with a bachelor’s degree to earn a BSN in just fifteen months, and an MSN in two and a half years. 

The meaningful results of this major donor’s funding include signature programs:

  • Fuld Palliative Care Fellows are part of the School of Nursing’s innovative program to develop nurse leaders who influence palliative care, an area of health care that is rapidly growing as more Americans are facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses.
  • The Center for Nursing Excellence in Palliative Care teaches nursing students to implement palliative care principles across Emory Healthcare. Settings include Emory University Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Atlanta VA Medical Center.
  • Fuld Service Learning Fellows are accelerated MN+MSN students who have a special commitment to social responsibility within professional nursing.

The Helene Fuld Health Trust funding provides for general nursing scholarships as well, McCauley said. In 2010, the School of Nursing distributed 628 scholarships based on need and merit to 300 students. In 2020, that had risen to more than 1,500 scholarships to almost 900 students.

“We are what we are in part because of the investment of the Helene Fuld Health Trust,” McCauley said in her State of the School 2020 address.