The grant also is focused on providing diverse nursing instructors.
A $2.7 million grant to Southwest Adventist University (SWAU) is part of the latest efforts to amplify not only the numbers of nurse educators over the next five years, but of a diverse nursing faculty.
SWAU, in Keene, Texas, will use the grant—Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans Program (PPOHA)—to develop a Master of Science in Nursing Education program to be offered in a completely online format, scholarships for the first cohorts of nursing educators, and a $250,000 Nursing Educator Endowment to support future generations of nursing educators.
The proposed program is specifically designed to prepare educators for post-secondary teaching positions in community colleges and universities that offer nursing programs, particularly in areas where there is a striking disparity between the demographics of the population and the demographics of current nursing faculty.
The PPOHA program, through the U.S. Department of Education, provides grants to expand postbaccalaureate educational opportunities for Hispanic students and expand postbaccalaureate academic offerings in colleges and universities that are helping large numbers of Hispanic and low-income students complete postsecondary degrees.
The need for more nursing faculty is considerable. Nursing schools had to turn away more than 78,000 qualified applications in 2022 alone due to lack of faculty and training sites, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Even more concerning, 10,000 applications were turned away from graduate programs, further limiting the pool of potential nurse educators, according to AACN.
Additionally, one-third of the current nursing faculty workforce in baccalaureate and graduate programs is expected to retire by 2025, according to the study Retirements and Succession of Nursing Faculty in 2016-2025.
SWAU’s grant is among several being awarded with the specific intent to expand nursing programs and faculty. The U.S. Department of Labor recently awarded 25 grants totaling more than $78 million to nursing programs in 17 states, most of which went to colleges and universities to strengthen and diversify the workforce.
“We are excited about this opportunity to expand what we offer and provide this education program through SWAU,” project director Terri Gibson, DNP, said. “We know that patients need compassionate nurses, and quality educators and programs are needed to make this key nurse role more available.”
Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.
SWAU’s proposed program is specifically designed to prepare educators for post-secondary teaching positions.
The PPOHA program provides grants to colleges and universities where large numbers of Hispanic and low-income students are completing postsecondary degrees.
Nursing schools turned away more than 78,000 qualified applications in 2022 alone due to lack of faculty and training sites.