Students working to become medical laboratory scientists have a new scholarship opportunity to help pay for their education, thanks to a partnership between Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU) and the Baton Rouge Clinic.
The scholarship, named Baton Rouge Clinic Scholars in Medical Lab Sciences (MLS), is designed to support outstanding MLS students at FranU who are entering the clinical training portion of their education. This scholarship will benefit students by helping to make their training more affordable, and serves as an investment in the future of high-need medical professionals.
Baton Rouge Clinic is the first organization to commit to FranU’s Healthcare Partner Campaign, an initiative created by the University to address the shared needs of its students and the healthcare facilities that employ them.
“FranU is grateful for the generosity of the Baton Rouge Clinic and the special legacy this scholarship will create,” said Tina Holland, PhD, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University president. “The University remains committed to assisting the Baton Rouge Clinic, as well as our other healthcare partners, in meeting their workforce needs by providing highly skilled graduates in high-demand fields like medical lab sciences.”
Medical lab scientists, also known as medical lab technologists and technicians, or clinical lab scientists, play a critical role in today’s healthcare industry and represent the third largest group of healthcare professionals, after physicians and nurses. Approximately 70% of all medical decisions, diagnoses, treatments and evaluations, are based on lab test results conducted by MLS professionals.
The need for qualified lab professionals is growing, as the volume of lab testing increases due to factors like population growth and aging, complex disease management, and the continued development of new clinical tests. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of MLS professionals is projected to grow 13% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.
While many healthcare providers choose to outsource their medical lab testing, the Baton Rouge Clinic employs 13 highly trained MLS professionals in an on-site lab to provide a range of clinical support and diagnostic services to over 250,000 of its patients throughout Baton Rouge and surrounding areas.
The state of Louisiana also requires that all medical laboratory scientists hold a professional license. MLS degree program graduates must successfully complete the Board of Certification exam offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology in order to become eligible for state licensure and employment in a medical laboratory. MLS graduates at FranU have earned a 100% exam pass rate for ten consecutive years, and the program has produced more than 600 MLS professionals since its inception in 1951. “The Baton Rouge Clinic Scholars in Medical Lab Sciences is our investment in the continued excellence of the MLS program at FranU,” said Edgar Silvey, Baton Rouge Clinic CEO. “Recipients of this scholarship will proudly carry the Baton Rouge Clinic Scholar designation with them throughout their careers as they provide lifesaving clinical testing and patient care.”
Nine MLS students will be selected as the inaugural Baton Rouge Clinic Scholars in Medical Lab Sciences scholarship recipients this upcoming fall semester. Students must have at least a 3.0 grade point average in MLS courses, be in good academic standing and enrolled full-time at the University. “We are proud to be the first healthcare partner for the University, and look forward to continuing our support of FranU’s mission to educate and form tomorrow’s leaders in healthcare,” said Silvey.
The University launched its Healthcare Partners Campaign in 2017 and hopes to continue to develop mutually beneficial strategic partnerships with other local businesses that support the growth and goals of both organizations.
“We believe our partnership with the Baton Rouge Clinic will set the stage for additional support of our students and academic programs,” said Holland.
The FranU School of Nursing was awarded Nursing School of the Year — Undergraduate Degree Programs at the 2019 Nightingale Awards Gala, which is sponsored by the Louisiana Nurses Foundation and the Louisiana State Nurses Association.
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