With the need for registered nurses growing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family of Monroe Community College alumna Mary Porcari Brady is helping student-nurses complete their degrees and overcome financial challenges that lie between them and their careers.
The $50,386 grant from the Mary Porcari Brady Emergency Student Support Fund to the MCC Foundation provides access to virtual clinical experiences and supply kits, as well as covers the licensure exam fees for students preparing to graduate this May.
The grant includes $10,000 to purchase personal protective equipment for the upcoming academic year as well as replacement equipment, made necessary after the MCC Department of Nursing donated its supply to Rochester-area hospitals in March.
“Monroe Community College guided our mom to a successful career helping others as a registered nurse. Today’s student-nurses are educating themselves to do the same,” said Chuck Porcari, who co-founded the MPB Fund with his three siblings and the MCC Foundation in 2006. “In May, more than 50 of these dedicated students will graduate and begin their professional careers amid a terrible pandemic. Our obligation is to help them in any way possible. It’s a small down payment on the thanks they will receive from their future patients and the community.”
The grant will cover virtual clinical program costs for 250 student-nurses, supply kits for 140 students and National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses registration fees for the 53 students preparing to graduate this spring. Without the grant, students would have to cover the costs themselves before graduating and joining the area’s health care workforce.
According to Laurie Palmer, chairperson of the MCC Department of Nursing, COVID-19 restrictions greatly impacted access to required clinical rotations in area hospitals. The virtual clinical program provided by the grant allows students to complete the clinical course outcomes required to earn an Associate in Applied Science degree in nursing and take the exam.
“The economic burden the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our students right now is staggering,” Palmer said. “This financial support means so much to our students and the Rochester health care community. The Mary Porcari Brady Fund has been an integral partner in supporting MCC students’ dream of becoming a registered nurse. The timing of this grant is especially appreciated as 2020 is the ‘Year of the Nurse,’ underscoring the added importance of nursing careers at this time.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the RN career field is projected to grow by 12% through 2028. According to the MCC Career Coach, RNs in Rochester start their careers earning around $52,000 annually. Highly experienced workers can earn approximately $83,000.
“The Porcari family wanted their philanthropy to make an immediate, material impact during the coronavirus crisis that has put so many of our nursing graduates on the front lines,” said Mark Pastorella, chief development officer for the MCC Foundation. “Created by a family that stays connected and continues to give back to their hometown, the Mary Porcari Brady Emergency Student Support Fund is another example of the character of people raised in Greater Rochester, no matter where they currently live.”
Call (585) 292-3680, or visit monroecc.edu or mpbfund.com for information.