HRSA Awards $1.2 Million to School of Nursing for Future Faculty

Karen Hande and students

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing recently received a $1,221,359 grant to support Doctor of Nursing Practice students who plan to become nursing faculty. The award brings the funds the school has received for the program since 2008 to $7.3 million.

The grant is part of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP). It is designed to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty in colleges and universities across the country.

“The nursing profession is in the enviable position of experiencing increasing demand for nurses and seeing record numbers of students apply to nursing programs,” said Linda Norman, DSN, R.N., FAAN, the Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing and dean of VUSN. “Well-qualified faculty are needed to instruct and mentor those students. This loan forgiveness program encourages and equips doctorally prepared nurses to become effective faculty nurse scholars.”

DNP students planning to teach can receive a NFLP award that underwrites VUSN tuition, books, fees and associated costs. After graduation, loan recipients employed as nursing faculty in any school of nursing in the United States for four years will have 85 percent of the loan forgiven. The student has a 10-year period to pay back the remaining 15 percent.

In addition to the DNP program requirements, Vanderbilt’s NFLP students also take courses focused on nursing education.

“With the growing and aging needs of our population, the demand for nurses will only intensify,” Norman said. “Increasing the number of doctorally prepared faculty in educational institutions is key to educating the nursing professionals needed today and in the future.”

Last year, 65 Vanderbilt School of Nursing DNP graduates participated in the program; since its inception, more than 270 Vanderbilt graduates have received the loan.

In April, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported that nursing schools turned away 64,067 qualified applicants in 2016; most listed faculty shortages as a reason for not accepting the applicants.

Photo: Associate Professor Karen Hande participated in the NFLP while earning her DNP from Vanderbilt. Here she conducts class with DNP students in Nashville and out of the area. 

Image: John Russell/Vanderbilt