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Real Estate Deals That Make a Difference: Immigrant Nurse Receives Scholarship to Continue English Studies

January 9, 2012

This week, we’ll be spotlighting the impact achieved by three Nonprofit Partners as a result of receiving funding through Investing In Communities. And first up, let’s hear it for Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium! Stay tuned on Wednesday, January 11, and Friday, January 13, to read more inspiring tales of real estate deals making a difference.

Spotlight: Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium

Virginia Jaime would have to drop her class. She had registered for a TOEFL course at Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium, but times had gotten tough for her and her family. As a licensed nurse in Mexico, Virginia had helped her family live a comfortable life. However, she needed to improve her English to become licensed in the US. Without this class, she couldn’t learn English and couldn’t support her family. Even the $200 price tag was too much. She was stuck. 

Virginia Jaime, fourth from left, was able to continue her TOEFL course as a result of a scholarship provided by Investing In Communities funding.

Enter Investing In Communities – remember our random drawing? On October 25th, we gave away $42,000 to our Nonprofit Partners at a celebration in downtown Chicago. This philanthropy was generated by a real estate transaction involving an IIC Real Estate Member and Urban Partnership Bank.  By working with an IIC Member, the bank generated $42,000 in charitable funding for eligible nonprofits at no cost to itself. This funding included a $2500 award for Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium.

This $2500 award from Investing In Communities enabled Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium to provide Virginia with a scholarship to continue her course and support the Consortium’s administrative expenses. We are proud to support Virginia and wish her the best of luck in her studies!

The Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium (CBNC) helps qualified immigrant nurses become licensed registered nurses in Illinois through intense coaching, encouragement, and follow-up. For Mary Lebold, Ed.D., R.N., Executive Director of Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium, “the importance of integrating internationally educated nurses into the local workforce cannot be overstated.”

To begin with, Lebold says, “The nursing profession faces a severe shortage of competent bilingual, bicultural nurses.” Such a shortage is very problematic, as bilingual, bicultural nurses promote effective communication between patients and their health care teams.  Encouraging internationally educated nurses to complete licensing in the US doesn’t just help nurses – improving patient access to culturally and lingually competent nursing staff remains an absolute requisite of a healthy healthcare system.

In addition, internationally educated nurses can dramatically improve their families’ economic condition by becoming licensed in the US. Lebold says, “Interationally trained, documented nurses that pass the NCLEX licensing exam have no trouble at all getting a job. And becoming licensed can bump their salaries from $9.00 per hour to $60,000 per year!” Now that’s a raise!

Lastly, immigrant nurses face significant financial and language barriers to resuming their practices. Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium helps these nurses by providing classes as well as scholarships. Courses offered at Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium include:

  • NCLEX-RN Licensing Exam preparation and support;
  • TOEFL English Language Test preparation and support;
  • Various courses and seminars focused on helping international nurses improve English nursing languge skills.

Now THAT's Impact: Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium has helped over 70 internationally educated nurses obtain their Illinois nursing certification.

Thanks to Chicago Bilingual Nurse Consortium’s courses and scholarship programs, over 70 internationally educated nurses have passed the NCLEX exam, achieved greater competitiveness in today’s challenging job market, and improved their ability to provide for their families. Wow – now that’s impact! We hope that businesses like Urban Partnership Bank will continue making their real estate deals make a difference for inspiring nonprofits like CBNC.

Do you want your real estate deal to make a difference in the lives of people like Virginia Jaime? Are you a nonprofit that would like to receive funds through IIC? Then visit to sign up today as a Real Estate Member, an Individual or Corporate Friend, or a Nonprofit Partner! Do you know someone who should know about IIC? You can tell them with a click!

All photos courtesy of Ms. Maria Cervera and the Shah Family.

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