In order to address the shortage of nurses on Taiwan's east coast, and expand the ongoing medical mission, Cheng Yen resolved to build the Tzu Chi College of Nursing. With the assistance of many people, it was founded on 17 September 1989 in Hualien. It was the first private nursing college in Taiwan to waive tuition for selected courses, in addition to providing full scholarships for qualified Taiwan aborigine students. Students not only learn the technical skills of nursing, they are also imbued with the spirit of compassion and given a humanitarian education. Despite the Buddhist nature of Tzu Chi, aboriginal Christian pastors have been hired to minister to the large proportion of aborigine students, many of whom are Christian, who study at the college. They are also present to preserve native culture and languages.
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