Nursing students receive $1 million for Nurse Faculty Loan Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Barry University’s Division of Nursing $1,176,182 for nursing students.

The loan program is geared toward helping close the gap in the nation’s nursing shortage by allowing nurses wanting to continue their education and return to school to earn their master’s or doctoral degrees in nursing education.

A nurse accepted into the Nurse Faculty Loan Program can expect an 85 percent forgiveness policy, meaning only 15 percent of the loan would be paid back, if they begin teaching as a full-time faculty member at any college or university, including Barry. They have up to a year to obtain the position and must teach for four years after graduation to receive the waiver.

“The unique quality of Barry’s DNP program is its structure,” said Jessie Colin, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor and director of nursing in the College of Health Sciences. “Students build on each of their course work as they progress toward their dissertation and they experience what it means to journey from a novice researcher to an expert one.”

Since 2009, the HRSA grant has allowed 56 nurses to return to school for their PhD who would otherwise not have been able to. This year more than two dozen will be afforded the same opportunity.

Barry’s Division of Nursing began admitting students to its Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP) program in 2008 to prepare students for advanced nursing as qualified clinical preceptors, for undergraduate and graduate nursing students as well as for academic faculty positions. In 2010, the division began admitting post-baccalaureate students to its DNP program and in the fall 2011 semester, the DNP program began offering online classes as well.

“The key to addressing the nursing shortage in the state of Florida is the production of nursing faculty,” said College of Health Sciences Associate Dean and Division of Nursing Chair, Claudette Spalding, PhD, ARNP. “This loan program makes the difference in the recruitment and production of nurses who will become the faculty needed by all of Florida’s nursing programs.”

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