Three years in the making, MU nursing sees benefits of grant program

Nov 8, 2013

Credit jdlasica / Flickr

2013 has been the third year for a nursing grant program -- aimed to assist college and university nursing programs in Missouri.

The University of Missouri is one of the schools to receive a grant each year, which MU Dean, Judith Fitzgerald Miller, said she appreciates.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us,” Miller said. “We are able to benefit from this in a tremendous way. In this last particular grant, we are actually able to support students who are in rural Missouri.”

Miller said Missouri was approved for the grant because it plans to use the money to offer 10 scholarships to nurses with associate degrees living in rural Missouri.

The scholarships would allow those nurses to get a bachelor’s degree online.

Another portion of the Missouri grant will go to six doctoral students preparing to teach nursing.

“We are producing teachers for all institutions that teach nursing in the state of Missouri,” Miller said, “and we’re also providing more advanced practice people to care for Missourians.”

The funds for these grants came from nurses licensing fees. Like the University of Missouri, Truman received the maximum $150,000 grant.

Dr. Stephanie Powelson, the chair of Truman’s Department of Nursing, said she is glad the grant will allow the school to increase its enrollment.

“There is a real demand for nurses,” Powelson said. “I think in terms of employment, our nursing students have the highest employment rate on campus, and we have quite a bit more demand than we can begin to meet.”

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said one of five jobs created in 2012 was in the healthcare sector.

Missouri created this grant program to help battle the need for nurses to initially last three years. The Department of Higher Education has not announced if the program will continue in 2014.

“I’m hopeful that Governor Nixon and the board of nursing and the department of higher education would consider the program to continue,” Powelson said. “I think for Truman and I’m sure for MU and other schools, it’s really been some additional funds that we can direct to the student that want to be nurses.”

This grant program distributed over $1,000,000 in 2013 with the hope healthcare in Missouri will be better for it.