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INDIANAPOLIS – Healthcare workers have been on the frontlines long before the onset of the pandemic, carrying an emotional and physical burden that often goes unnoticed. In response, leading online university WGU Indiana is launching their ninth consecutive Night Shift Nurses Week campaign to honor these dedicated healthcare workers and bring awareness to the critical role of those who work the night shift. The campaign, which began in 2013, aligns with the return to Standard Time when night shift workers add an extra hour to their normal shift on Nov. 7.

This year, the university will deliver appreciation kits to more than 2,500 night shift workers at 26 partner hospitals and healthcare centers throughout the state. Each kit will contain feel-good treats for healthcare workers, including eye masks, lip balm, chocolate, mints, coffee pods and much more, for them to open during the extra hour on the job. Additionally, WGU Indiana will award its annual Night Shift Nurse Scholarship, worth $4,000, to dedicated night shift workers returning to school in any of WGU’s four colleges, including Health Professions.

With increased patient demand brought forth by COVID, aging Baby Boomers and lengthened life spans, registered nursing was the fourth most in-demand job in our nation’s workforce as of June 2021, according to a LinkedIn study. Now more than ever, healthcare workers must be supported and celebrated as the industry faces a projected shortage of an estimated 1.1 million by 2022. It’s time that nurses be seen as more than a never-ending resource, and instead a critical asset to our communities.

“It’s a privilege to be a part of a campaign that honors the dedication and hard work of Indiana’s night shift workers,” said WGU Indiana Chancellor Alison Bell. “As nurses, respiratory therapists, medical assistants and the numerous other healthcare workers face staffing shortages, long hours and mental health challenges brought on by COVID-19, let alone the usual sleep deprivation and fatigue, it’s our responsibility to support and encourage them so they are able to continue caring for others. The appreciation kits are a small token of our appreciation and a reminder to night shift workers that they’re not alone in this journey.”

More than 15 WGU Indiana employees volunteered to put together 170 appreciation kits and assist in the delivery of the kits, which will reach night shift workers in hospitals and health care units across Indiana.

“The campaign is one impactful way that WGU Indiana leadership and staff can come together to support our steadfast and devoted night shift workers who are currently facing unimaginable obstacles and strain, such as overrun hospitals and workplace violence,” said WGU Indiana State Director of Prelicensure Nursing, Lisa Eagans, MSN, RNC-MNN. “76% of nurses experienced burnout and exhaustion during the pandemic, and support from state and healthcare leadership must be ongoing. I’m thankful to be a part of an institution that understands the value of the profession and year after year goes the extra mile to encourage its students and graduates.”

To learn more about WGU Indiana and the Night Shift Nurses Scholarship, which has a deadline for applications of Dec. 31, 2021, visit here.

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About WGU Indiana
WGU Indiana is an online, competency-based university established to expand access to higher education for Indiana residents. The university offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of business, K-12 teacher education, information technology, and health professions, including nursing. Degrees are granted under the accreditation of WGU, which is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Teachers College programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), College of Business programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). WGU Indiana has helped more than 12,000  Hoosiers achieve their dream of completing a college degree. More than 5,000 students are currently enrolled. Learn more at www.wgu.edu/indiana.

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