Harris Regional Hospital welcoming applications for the 2019 Ascent Partnership nurse practitioner tuition support program

November 21, 2018

<p><strong>SYLVA </strong><strong>&nbsp;–</strong> Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital are joining Western Carolina University to announce a call for applicants for The Ascent Partnership nurse practitioner tuition support program for the 2019 fall semester start.</p>

<p>The Ascent Partnership is the formal relationship between WCU and the hospitals. In the partnership, the hospitals provide full tuition coverage each year for two selected nurse practitioner students who commit to a minimum of three years of employment by the hospitals after graduation.</p>

<p>Since The Ascent Partnership began in 2015, three WCU nurse practitioner students have successfully participated in the program. The program’s first graduate, Carrie Saunders, FNP, cares for patients at Harris Regional Hospital Urgent Care in the Walmart Plaza. Caroline Rooney, RN and Hannah Caplinger, RN are expected to complete the nurse practitioner program in August 2019.</p>

<p>The main requirement for consideration of partnership funding is for the student to have been formally accepted to the WCU nurse practitioner program. An application, interview, and reference process are also included.</p>

<p>To apply please visit <a href="/wellness-community-support/the-ascent-partnership" target="_blank">www.myharrisregional.com/ascent</a> or (828) 586-7100.</p>

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<h4><strong>About The Ascent Partnership</strong></h4>

<p>The Ascent Partnership is the formal collaboration between Western Carolina University, Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital focused on ensuring access to quality health care in North Carolina's westernmost counties. Partnership initiatives include training the next generation of healthcare workers and supporting educational and outreach activities which benefit the health of those living in the region. The Ascent Partnership was officially named in 2015 after a decades-long relationship between the organizations featuring clinical training opportunities for students and hospital support for WCU's athletic teams and arts events.</p>

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<h4><strong>About Harris Regional Hospital &amp; Swain Community Hospital</strong></h4>

<p>Harris Regional Hospital, established in 1925, is an 86-bed acute and specialty care facility serving Western North Carolina with more than 100 physicians practicing in locations throughout a multi-county region, including Harris Regional Hospital Medical Park of Franklin, an outpatient facility in Macon County.</p>

<p>Swain Community Hospital, established in 1950, is a 48-bed Critical Access Hospital serving a multi-county region with primary care, emergency medicine and subspecialty care including a pain clinic and a transitional care unit. Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital began an affiliation in 1997 and joined Duke LifePoint Healthcare in 2014.</p>

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<h4><strong>About Western Carolina University</strong></h4>

<p>With an enrollment of more than 11,000 students, Western Carolina University is a regional comprehensive institution offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The westernmost campus of the University of North Carolina System, WCU offers academic programs on its main campus in Cullowhee and at its off-campus instructional site at Biltmore Park in Asheville.</p>

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<h4><strong>About Duke LifePoint Healthcare</strong></h4>

<p>Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Health® (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and healthcare providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint's experience in community-based hospital management and Duke's world-renowned leadership in patient safety and clinical quality systems, is strengthening and improving healthcare delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper.</p>