In order to address a shortage in the nursing workforce, the Health Resources and Services Administration recently awarded Stanislaus State funding to help ensure the availability of partial loan forgiveness for eligible students.
The $11,451 grant comes through the HRSA Nurse Faculty Loan Program, which aims to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty to facilitate education of the nurses to address the lack of nurses in the field. At Stanislaus State, the money will be made available for graduate students who apply for the Forgivable Loan Program.
“This money allows people to be funded and makes it easier for them to finish the graduate program,” said Carolyn Martin, Graduate Assistant Director for the School of Nursing at Stanislaus State.
The Forgivable Loan Program provides financial assistance to graduate students, increasing the pool of individuals with the qualifications and skills needed to one day teach within the California State University System. Financial assistance is provided to doctoral students who show promise of becoming strong candidates for CSU instructional faculty positions. After graduating, loans are repayable over a 15-year period and if a participant applies, competes for and is hired in a CSU instructional faculty position after completion of their degree, 20 percent of the loan will be forgiven for each year of full-time teaching employment in the CSU.
According to Martin, this is the fifth time that Stanislaus State has received the HRSA grant and the amount given has grown each year. The money has helped countless graduates of the university’s Nursing Education program find jobs all over the valley at institutions such as Modesto Junior College, San Joaquin Delta College and Merced College.
In addition to the money awarded to Stanislaus State, HRSA also awarded grants to another 37 organizations in California. The $14,778,805 in new awards spread throughout the state was part of $149 million given nationally through 12 workforce programs.
“These awards will help increase access to quality health care for all Americans by educating and training culturally competent providers who are prepared to practice in high-need areas,” said HRSA Acting Administrator Jim Macrae. “By encouraging partnerships among academic institutions, clinicians, health care sites and public health entities, we can improve health outcomes in underserved communities.”
HRSA’s education and training grants support the development of a workforce that can meet 21st century needs through an emphasis on diversity, distribution of clinicians and quality services that encourage innovative team-based and interprofessional approaches.
“Our vision is to positively impact every aspect of the health professional’s career, from education and training to service,” said Macrae. “These awards will increase the number of health professionals providing quality care to the nation’s most vulnerable populations.”