The U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Health Resources and Services Administration recently allocated more than $2 million dollars in federal grants to Francis Marion University Health Sciences in Florence, SC. The grants come at a time when states across the country are facing nursing shortages and universities are looking for ways to address the issue.
The grants will be distributed through two different programs.
The first being the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) Program will contribute $543,654 in direct scholarship aid towards tuition and other program-related costs for students in the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner program at FMU. The SDS program is designed to give students who would otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue a nursing career the opportunity to do so. It also hopes to attract students from parts of the country know to have a shortage of primary care providers in the hopes that they will become “homegrown health care providers.”
The Nursing Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) is the second program. This program will provide $75,452 in loans to students of the MSN Nurse Educator program. Students who spend four years after graduation serving as full-time faculty at an accredited nursing school will have up to 85% of their loans forgiven. The goal of the NFLP program is to increase the number of talented and qualified nursing faculty who will then pass on their knowledge to train others. Students will be chosen for the program based on their qualifications. Minority students and those with advanced clinical skills or experience in obstetrics, pediatrics and psychiatric nursing will receive priority status.
Dr. Fred Carter, president of FMU says that the grants are additional proof of the University’s dedication to health care education. “These grants are great news for FMU, but they’re even better news for our students and the citizens of this region,” he said.