The Vineyard Nursing Association, the Island’s only home nursing provider, announced this week that it will expand its services onto Nantucket, where currently there are none.

VNA chief executive officer Robert Tonti said he expects to open a Nantucket office by early May at the latest. The Nantucket Cottage Hospital will provide $350,000 in startup money for the service, paid out over three years, Mr. Tonti said.

“We are helping their community and we’re happy to do it,” Mr. Tonti said in an interview.

The Nantucket hospital shut down its home nursing service on Dec. 31 because it was losing too much money.

Mr. Tonti said because the nonprofit VNA already has a structure, including staffing and an office, in place, he expects a Nantucket operation will be able to sustain itself financially. “The vision is to grow the business; the demographics are similar to the Vineyard but their patient load was not as high,” he said.

To be named the Nantucket VNA, the new service will offer a full range of home health care services including skilled nursing, various therapies and home care. VNA clinical director Sandie Corr-Dolby will help lead the setup team on Nantucket, Mr. Tonti said. He said initially the service will be staffed from the Vineyard VNA, but the plan calls for quickly building a Nantucket staff, possibly also attracting staff from Cape Cod.

VNA has been through a series of changes in the last two years, first absorbing the Visiting Nurse Service which formerly operated under the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services umbrella, and more recently launching a capital campaign to raise money to buy the building where the organization is housed.

Mr. Tonti and VNA development director Amy Houghton happily reported this week that $480,000 has been raised, ending phase one of the campaign and allowing the purchase of the building to move forward. The money raised will be used as a down payment toward the sale price of $2.28 million. The VNA has an option to buy at that price until March 31, and Mr. Tonti said they expect to exercise the option.

The 8,400-square foot building is owned by Leo Convery and located in the commercial complex known as Merchant’s Mart, across from the Black Dog Cafe on State Road in Vineyard Haven.

“We’re thrilled; this is a good financial deal for us,” Mr. Tonti said.

He said the balance of the purchase price will be paid using a loan from the Edgartown National Bank. The loan will be partly commercial and partly floated through a bond the bank will secure.

Mr. Tonti also emphasized that the VNA intends to honor leases and retain the current tenants in the building, including the other principal tenant, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which holds weekly services in its rented space.

VNA’s annual budget is now $3.3 million; Mr. Tonti said he expects to see it grow to more than $4 million with the Nantucket expansion.

Expansion onto Nantucket, a major capital purchase — the VNA has much to manage these days, especially on top of the need to monitor the constantly-changing health care rules and the politics that surround them.

“It’s true, but I think it is all good for us and it is also true that we are now coming into another phase where we are going to have to get very engaged in creative ways to reach our goals,” Mr. Tonti said.