June 21, 2022

A new scholarship fund has been established at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation that will support White Mountains Community College students pursuing careers in nursing. Named after longtime Berlin resident and community supporter Rod Blackburn, the Roderick H. Blackburn Nursing Scholarship Fund will award approximately $12,500 annually to support students enrolled in the Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) and Nursing degree programs at WMCC.

“We feel very fortunate to have received scholarship funds in perpetuity from Mr. Blackburn to support our nursing and LNA students,” said Dr. Chuck Lloyd, WMCC president. “He was a very supportive member of the Berlin community through his financial generosity. We are so grateful that he chose to support WMCC students in learning and working in healthcare positions that are critical in our community.”

WMCC, with a campus in Berlin and academic centers in Littleton and North Conway, offers pathways for those interested in the medical fields including an associate degree in Nursing and a LNA program. The two-year Nursing degree program prepares students to for employment as a Registered Nurse providing comprehensive nursing care to diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities in acute, long-term, ambulatory, mental health, and other structured settings. The LNA workforce development program is 120-hour short-term professional training program that prepares students to provide care to patients in different healthcare settings, under the guidance and supervision of a Registered Nurse (RN). The LNA program can lead to the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and RN pathways.

According to NHeconomy.com, healthcare is one of the state’s largest industries with a surge in open positions and expected growth of at least 15.7 percent through 2026, signaling a significant opportunity for job seekers.

“With help from Mr. Backburn, this is a great way to start a career in healthcare and possibly continuing on to other healthcare pathways,” continued Dr. Lloyd.

Roderick Blackburn was born in Berlin, NH in 1939. He had an outstanding hockey career and after graduating college, he entered the U.S. Marine Corps and was part of the first Marine units to land in Vietnam in 1965. He returned to the New England area where he ran a successful construction company in Weymouth, Mass, before returning to Berlin in the early 1990’s to care for his ailing mother. Mr. Blackburn passed away in 2021.