Gov. Nixon announces grants to educate more nurses at Missouri colleges, universities

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Office of the Governor
ST. LOUIS - Gov. Jay Nixon visited the University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Nursing on Friday to announce $1 million in grants to educate additional nurses at colleges and universities across the state.

 

The grants, made available through Gov. Nixon's Caring for Missourians Initiative, are funded by revenue generated from nursing license fees collected by the Missouri State Board of Nursing.  The program will provide $1 million in grants each year in Fiscal Years 2012, 2013 and 2014.  Public and private colleges and universities are eligible to apply for grants of up to $150,000 per institution per year to hire additional faculty, purchase vital educational equipment or offer scholarships.   

"A nursing education is a direct pathway to a rewarding and lifelong career, but for too long, too many students have been turned away from nursing education programs because they were at full capacity," Gov. Nixon said.  "As our economy begins to move forward, health care will continue to be a growing industry in our state.  These grants will help our nursing schools educate more students and connect them with good jobs in every corner of Missouri."

For the current fiscal year, FY 2012, the State Board of Nursing has approved the following grants:

Cox College (Springfield) $149,978
Mineral Area College (Park Hills) $149,950
Ozarks Technical Community College (Springfield) $150,000
University of Missouri - Columbia $149,540
University of Missouri - Kansas City $83,596
University of Missouri - St. Louis $149,996
William Jewell College (Liberty) $149,750

To select the grant recipients, the Missouri State Board of Nursing reviewed competitive applications submitted by the institutions.  In the second and third years of the program, the board will again invite applications and award the grants on a competitive basis.

According to its grant application, UMSL plans to expand its undergraduate nursing program by 32 students and develop a pilot program for expanding the number of future nursing faculty it educates at the doctoral level.

"We applaud Gov. Nixon and the State Board of Nursing for their leadership in helping us educate more nurses at this critical time," said Sandy Lindquist, interim dean of the UMSL College of Nursing.  "Hospitals, clinics and other providers are hiring nurses as quickly as possible, but capacity limits have forced us to turn away too many good students in the past.  This grant will help us significantly expand our undergraduate program, while also laying the groundwork to expand our graduate program in the future.  This is a real win for Missouri's economy and the health of our state."

Launched in fall 2009, Caring for Missourians was a one-time investment of $40 million to increase the number of nurses, physicians, dentists and other health professionals being educated at Missouri's public colleges and universities.  Colleges and universities developed individual plans for how they would invest their Caring for Missourians funds.

Gov. Nixon and the State Board of Nursing announced plans for this expansion of Caring for Missourians in December 2010.  During the 2011 legislative session, the General Assembly passed two bills authorizing the program: House Bill 223 and Senate Bill 325.