From 1993 to 1997, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, Providence, worked in partnership with a variety of organizations and agencies to build a nursing career continuum—spanning educational levels from current high school students interested in health care careers to master's level candidates—for minority and economically disadvantaged state residents.
The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) national program Ladders in Nursing Careers Program.
Know as Rhode Island Project L.I.N.C., the project developed a fully accredited associates degree program for surgical technicians. It also partnered with community organizations to access day care, mental health services, health care, and other support services for students. All of the state's nursing schools and most of the state's hospitals participated in the program.
By June 1997, some 53 students had graduated from the program and six students had dropped out of the program.
Of participating students, 27 percent were minority, nearly 40 percent were economically disadvantaged, and approximately 30 percent were single parents. On average, L.I.N.C. graduates saw their annual salaries increase 43 percent, from $21,800 to $31,200.
More than 50 percent of Rhode Island L.I.N.C. students were enrolled in B.S.N. or M.S.N. programs and more than 18 percent of students were enrolled in allied health programs.