(Little Rock) November 15, 2017 – The Nabholz Charitable Foundation recently pledged $450,000 to support nursing excellence at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. This generous gift will promote excellence by providing support for continuing education and training, ensuring ACH can recruit and retain the best and the brightest nurses in the region. This generous gift will continue to support certification scholarships for nursing education, the Versant RN Residency Program and sustaining the Magnet Recognition Arkansas Children’s Hospital received in March 2017.

“Nabholz Construction has built communities in Arkansas for nearly seven decades,” says Jake Nabholz, executive vice president of Nabholz Construction and member of the Arkansas Children’s Foundation Board of Directors. “As a family who is proud to have nurses in its ranks, we understand the importance of giving back to the community and making Arkansas a healthier place for children to live. On behalf of our employees, we are proud to support the great work of more than 1,300 nurses who are providing a healthier tomorrow for the children at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.”

Nurses are the front-line caregivers at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. They lead the team that develops a child’s plan of care. Children’s lives and health depend on excellence in nursing and unprecedented teamwork. But health care is changing fast. Scientific information is growing at an incredible pace. Technology is increasingly common and complex. There aren’t enough nurses to meet demand. The Nabholz gift will support initiatives and programs to ensure nurses at Arkansas Children’s have the training, support and technology they need to deliver the right care in the right ways at the right time for kids.

One such program is the Versant RN Residency program. Adopted in 2014, the program provides an immersive, evidence-based onboarding experience for newly graduated nurses in order to help them become competent, confident and safe practitioners. Since the inception of the program, 218 nurses at Arkansas Children’s Hospital have graduated from the program.

The investment in Versant – coupled with additional investments in continuing education for nurses and a laser-like focus on patient and employee safety – played a large role in Arkansas Children’s Hospital earning Magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Magnet status nationally distinguishes organizations that meet rigorous standards for nursing excellence. In fact, only 6% of hospitals worldwide are Magnet recognized. Research shows patients in Magnet hospitals have shorter stays, higher satisfaction and better outcomes than non-Magnet hospitals.

“Providing safe, compassionate, excellent care to kids is at the core of our mission here at Arkansas Children’s. Investments from generous donors like Nabholz help us train and support our nurses at unprecedented levels. Support like this helped us earn Magnet status, which is wonderful for our patients and families,” says Lee Anne Eddy, chief nursing officer and senior vice president, MSN, RN, NEA-BC for Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

“For more than 45 years, the Nabholz Charitable Foundation and the Nabholz employees have been champions for children by supporting the mission of Arkansas Children’s,” says Fred Scarborough, chief development officer of Arkansas Children’s and president of Arkansas Children’s Foundation. “This investment in nursing excellence at Arkansas Children’s is designed to enhance the highest quality pediatric care as well as train and retain our top-tier nursing staff. On behalf of the children we serve, we are deeply grateful.”

Throughout the last five years, Nabholz Charitable Foundation has given more than $750,000 to nursing excellence.

About Arkansas Children’s

Arkansas Children's, Inc. is the only healthcare system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' 710,000 children, giving the organization a unique ability to shape the landscape of pediatric care in Arkansas and transform the health of children throughout the region. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs.

Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state's only burn center; the state's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state's only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons; and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Additionally, ACH is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in five pediatric subspecialties (2019-2020): Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics and Pulmonology. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the Northwest Arkansas region, opened in Springdale in early 2018. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and Northwest Arkansas' only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children's since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can fundamentally transform the health of children in Arkansas and beyond. To learn more, visit archildrens.org.