Joliet, Ill. – The Leach College of Nursing at the University of St. Francis (USF) was recently awarded the prestigious Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) Grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The grant, worth close to $250,000 annually, seeks to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty nationwide, and through loan cancellation, decrease the financial barrier that nursing instructors often experience.

“The purpose of this program is to prepare highly qualified, diverse nursing educators, thereby reducing the nursing faculty shortage and addressing health disparities. The NFLP funds will provide tuition assistance to 20 future nurse educators in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and post-master’s certificate programs,” said Christina Nordick, APRN, CNP, grant project director and Associate Professor of nursing at USF.

The grant will help USF to address three primary goals. The first is to increase the quantity and diversity of nurse educators in the greater Chicagoland area. The grant will also help USF NFLP loan recipients receive high-quality preparation for their nurse-educator roles, which will in turn help to decrease the shortage of nurse educators in the Chicagoland area.

As outlined in the terms of the grant, students may receive up to $12,490 annually to pay for tuition, fees, books, and educational expenses. After graduation, if recipients are employed fulltime as nurse faculty at an accredited institution, if they are employed part time in an accredited nursing institution and are precept advanced practice registered nursing (APRN) students part time, of if they are precept APRN students full time for four years, 85% of the grant is “forgiven”.

“NFLP funding will relieve students’ financial burden and provide incentives for students to enter careers in nurse education in academic and clinical settings, thereby expanding the nurse faculty workforce. Students will benefit from the various in-kind supportive structures provided at USF, such as mentorship, advising, and career-development activities, which will help students overcome barriers that prevent them from persisting through graduation,” Nordick added.

Visit stfrancis.edu/leach-college-of-nursing for more information on nursing programs at USF.

About the Health Resources and Services Administration

According to its web site, hrsa.gov, the mission of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is to improve health outcomes and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative, high-value programs. HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable. HRSA programs help those in need of high quality primary health care, people with HIV/AIDS, pregnant women, and mothers. HRSA also supports the training of health professionals, the distribution of providers to areas where they are needed most and improvements in health care delivery.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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