CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has announced an investment of $100,000 in the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Department of Nursing. NCCU will use the grant to help fund new technology to train nursing students and to underwrite research opportunities that will prepare them to address the chronic and acute health care needs of North Carolinians.
“Graduates from the NCCU Department of Nursing come from diverse backgrounds, and most of them remain in North Carolina and serve the health needs of the communities they grew up in,” said Kathy Higgins, vice president of corporate affairs at BCBSNC. “Our company is thrilled to support this local university as it trains the health care professionals our state will need as we seek to improve access and quality while controlling costs.”
Dr. Betty Dennis, chair of the NCCU nursing department said, “This investment by BCBSNC confirms the essential collaboration between education and the corporate sector which enables state-of-the-art approaches to learning that promote quality health care for all of our citizens.  For example, our iStan human patient simulators enable our students to become proficient before they encounter their first live patient.”
This funding to NCCU is the latest in BCBSNC’s effort to support the development and training of North Carolina’s healthcare workforce. BCBSNC has provided similar support to academic institutions working to fill shortages within the state (allied health, nursing, primary care physicians, etc.), programs that encourage graduates to remain in North Carolina and those with an emphasis on serving rural communities. Similar funding has been awarded to Appalachian State University, Campbell University and Elon University.
In August 2011, NCCU opened a state-of-the-art nursing building to support the university’s 64-year old nursing program.  NCCU was one of the first universities in the United States to offer a baccalaureate in nursing to associate degree and diploma nurses. The program received full accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission in 1970, a status it has maintained ever since.
In honor of the investment, the NCCU Department of Nursing intends to name a lecture hall for BCBSNC in its new building.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.6 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 78 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at
About North Carolina Central University:
Founded in 1910, North Carolina Central University was the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African-Americans.  Today, this dynamic campus has a diverse student body of 8,300 enrolled in academic programs including law, biotechnology, library science, business, nursing, education and the arts. Visit us at