School of Nursing receives $1.28 million HRSA grant for future faculty

Christian Ketel, Shelza Rivas

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has received a $1.28 million grant to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty in U.S. colleges and universities.

Funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) will support VUSN Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) students who plan to become nursing faculty in accredited U.S. nursing schools.

“The American Association of Colleges of Nursing estimates that nursing schools turned away more than 56,000 qualified applicants in 2017,” said Linda Norman, DSN, FAAN, the Valere Potter Menefee Professor of Nursing and dean of VUSN. “Lack of faculty was one of the reasons. This loan forgiveness program encourages and equips our DNP graduates to teach nursing and be part of the solution to that need.”

DNP students who plan to teach can receive a NFLP award to underwrite up to 85 percent of VUSN tuition, books, fees and associated costs if they are employed as faculty in any school of nursing in the United States for four years following graduation.

In addition to their other coursework, Vanderbilt NFLP recipients take courses focused on nursing education.

“Nursing is a wonderful and valued profession,” Norman said. “I’d like to see more people becoming nurses – but that will only happen if we can increase the number of doctorally-prepared faculty in educational institutions.”

The award brings the funds the school has received for the NFLP program since 2003 to $10.6 million.

Christian Ketel, DNP’14, and Shelza Rivas, DNP’17, MSN’15, BA’12, earned their Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees at VUSN and are nursing faculty at the school.

Photo: Daniel Dubois, Vanderbilt University