Contact: Jamie Leszczynski
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing recommends that registered nurses obtain a bachelor's degree to prepare for the complex tasks they will encounter in the field. For many nurses, however, cost represents one of the main challenges of returning to school.
As the third largest employer in Oswego County and healthcare leader, Oswego Health believes in investing in its employees and so in 2020, launched a tuition assistance program for those looking to advance their training. To date, a total of 30 employees have benefited from the program with Oswego Health financially investing over $383,000.
Among those who have taken advantage of the opportunity is Melissa Johnson, BSN, RN. Johnson was one of 20 RNs who received tuition assistance in 2022 to advance their training and education and Oswego Health is proud to share that she graduated in June 2022 from Chamberlain University with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Melissa Johnson, BSN, RN shares, “I’ve wanted to go back to school for quite some time but never made it a priority for myself. After learning about the tuition assistance program and having the support and flexibility from Oswego Health, I knew that I could complete my degree at my own pace. What pushed me to finally pursue my degree was having the financial support and the confidence in knowing I could balance work and family time.”
Johnson is married and has three children, along with managing a family farm in Mexico.
Joining Oswego Health in 2015 initially as an ED Tech, Johnson discovered her passion for healthcare. She went on to pursue her nursing degree and in 2017 was a surgical Graduate Nurse, before becoming a licensed Registered Nurse in 2017. From there she returned to the surgical team as an RN before transferring to the Center for Surgical Services in 2020.
Throughout the pandemic, Johnson has been a pivotal RN who has continuously stepped up to assist other areas of the health system as they suffered staffing shortages or increased census, including assisting the Emergency Department, and the Medical-Surgical Unit.
The RN Tuition Assistance program offers up to $10,000 per year to current employees at Oswego Health looking to advance their training in nursing, medical imaging, or laboratory science. New employees or those interested in working for Oswego Health are also eligible to apply at www.oswegohealth.org.