With nursing shortages occurring all over the nation, schools are having a hard time keeping up with the influx of students who want to get into the profession. Between a lack of nurse educators and budget cuts occurring all across the education system, it’s positive reinforcement when nursing schools get a little help from federal funds to allow more students into their program. This is what happened with OU’s nursing school recently and it has brought some optimism to the region.
Ohio University’s School of Nursing has been awarded a nearly $5 million federal grant to train unemployed nurses and those seeking to increase their credentials.
The School of Nursing will use the $4,989,080 from the U.S. Department of Labor to pay tuition and administrative costs for training 204 students in its associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, according to a news release. Three-quarters of these applicants will be people who have been unemployed for six months or more.
Job creation has been slow in many urban and rural communities, which also has led to prolonged unemployment, OU nursing professor Mary Bowen said in the release. She developed the grant in collaboration with Deborah Bingham Catri, director of graduate outreach for the university’s online and regional campus programs.
“At the same time, there are still skill shortages in some industries and occupations such as nursing, and this grant creates an opportunity to address both issues,” Bowen, also a special assistant to the dean of the College of Health Sciences and Professions, said in the release. “The project will collaborate with local and regional employers to bring employment opportunities to the medically underserved region of southeast Ohio.”
The School of Nursing, housed in the College of Health Sciences and Professions (CHSP), is OU’s fastest-growing academic unit, with a total of nearly 7,000 students enrolled in its online programs and at the university’s campuses in Athens, Zanesville, Chillicothe and Ironton, according to the release.