When Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services reached out to the CPN Department of Education and said they were having trouble finding viable applicants to fill LPN and dental hygienist positions, they worked together to set up a scholarship to bring more candidates to those fields.

The CPNHS Scholarship for Service, or Mshkeke (the Potawatomi word for medicine), covers tuition and fees in return for a minimum of one to three years of employment at a CPNHS site. Scholarships are available for one person going into a licensed practical nurse program and for two people in a dental hygiene program.

Interim Education Director Charles Lee III said applications are open year-round. For the licensed practical nurse program, one scholarship per year covers 100% of tuition and fees.

“The dental hygiene is a little more finessed,” Lee said. “It’s a three-year program, but we only pay for the last two years once they enter the professional part of the program. The prerequisites are not covered.”

Once the previous scholarship winners have made it through their respective programs, the scholarship will become available to the next round of applicants.

Applicants must be Oklahoma residents who are at least 18 years old. Eligible schools include Rose State College, Gordon Cooper Technology Center and Metro Technology Center. The scholarship is open to Native and non-Native applicants, though CPN members will get preference.

“Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services is thrilled to partner with the CPN Department of Education on this innovative effort to strengthen education and employment tracks for high-demand fields within health care,” Clinical Operations Director Lauren Bristow said.

“We look forward to the opportunities Mshkeke will provide for our health system and ultimately to our patients.”

To find out more about the scholarship or how to apply, email education@potawatomi.org or call 405-695-6028.