The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded Samford University's Ida Moffett School of Nursing a $2.1 million grant to help make graduate nursing education more affordable for currently practicing or teaching nurses committed to careers in nursing education.
This is the largest grant of this type in the nation, and it is one of only three that exceeds $1 million. This is Samford's 16th year to receive funding for the program.
According to Jane Martin, PhD, nursing school senior associate dean and project director of the grant, additional faculty are needed for nursing schools to increase student capacity. "The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) is designed to help address the shortage of nurse educators," Martin said. "Students who receive loans for graduate degree programs can have up to 85 percent of the loan forgiven in exchange for service as full-time nursing faculty members at an accredited school of nursing."
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that nursing schools turned away 64,067 qualified applicants in 2016-17. Nearly two-thirds of the nursing schools responding to the survey pointed to a shortage of faculty as a reason for not accepting all qualified applicants. More than 92 percent of faculty vacancies were positions requiring or preferring a doctoral degree.
The NFLP was approved by Congress in 2002, and Samford was one of the first 55 nursing schools from across the U.S. to receive funds. Samford's NFLP grants now total more than $13.5 million. The 2018-19 grant is expected to help more than 150 students from 18 states in Samford's Doctor of Nursing Practice program.