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$2.4 million grant to School of Nursing helps diversify future workforce

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing has received a $2.4 million federal grant to offer full scholarships to help diversify the nursing workforce.

The program will assist 240 students who are underrepresented in nursing — men as well as those with African-American, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian or Alaskan native backgrounds. Current and new bachelor of science nursing students are eligible to receive scholarships of $10,000 per year over a four-year period. The scholarships are grants, not loans.

The minority nursing workforce hasn’t kept up with the U.S. population. Minorities made up 34 percent of the population in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  But the minority nursing workforce is only 16.8 percent; and 6.2 percent of nurses were men, according to a 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses.

Given the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projected need for more than 1 million new and replacement registered nurses by 2016, breaking the cultural divide is increasingly important.

“Creating a diverse nursing workforce is connected to the ability to provide quality patient care,” said Thad Wilson, associate dean for the School of Nursing, who teamed with social worker Eve McGee to apply for the grant.

The grant, awarded in October by the Health Resources and Services Administration, also will address the growing financial need students are experiencing during the challenging economy.

“I’ve seen students struggle to pay for the rent and gas,” McGee said. “The scholarships will allow students to truly focus on school.”

Preference for the scholarships is also given to those with an educationally disadvantaged background, including those for whom English is a second language, first-generation college students and those from a county in which less than 50 percent of the residents have an education beyond high school.

Students must maintain a 2.75 grade point average or above to retain the scholarship.

About the UMKC School of Nursing
The UMKC School of Nursing offers a full range of education programs including a four-year bachelor’s degree (BSN), an RN-BSN, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP) and the Ph.D. in Nursing. Research at the UMKC School of Nursing is focused on Women’s and Children’s health and the school is a center of excellence in the provision of health care and education in these areas, emphasizing urban health care and wellness. For more information about the UMKC School of Nursing, visit http://nursing.umkc.edu/. You can also find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit http://www.umkc.edu/. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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