Univ. of Alabama School of Nursing receives major grant to combat nursing faculty shortage

Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 5:01 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The University of Alabama School of Nursing received a grant worth $3.5 million and it’s the first of its kind for the school.

The grant is from the United States Department of Labor and its sole purpose is to confront the coming shortage of nursing professors.

“This was a national grant,” said Associate Professor Dr. Susan Welch.

The UA School of Nursing was one of 15 universities to receive such a grant. Dr. Welch says this is significant.

“We know in the next five years, we’re going to lose even more faculty. The money will be used directly to provide students, who essentially will be graduate students, nurses who are in underserved areas in Alabama to go back and receive a masters in nursing education degree to be nurse educators in the state,” said Dr. Welch.

Having enough nursing professors is critical, according to Dr. Welch, in order to deal with the ongoing nursing shortage.

“It’ll impact the number of students we’re able to admit. If you don’t have enough faculty, we won’t be able to admit the number of students we could,” said Dr. Welch.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said UA nursing student Joseph Cambril.

Cambril is just beginning his nursing curriculum at UA.

“Anything to increase your supply or whatever you need to educate all of us nurses here, that’s pretty awesome,” said Cambril.

“Also, we know that a lot of nurses simply do not have the funds available to back and go to school. You’re looking anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 in tuition and support costs will be provided so the nice thing about this fabulous grant over the next five years will be able to provide that for each individual participant,” said Dr. Welch.

Shoring up the ranks of instructors and educators, confronting the challenge head on with a one-of-a-kind grant.

Dr. Welch says the grant could not have come at a better time when you consider the UA School of Nursing has around 1,000 students.

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