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Higgins: Over $400,000 for D'Youville College initiative aimed at addressing nursing shortage

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Fri, Jun 7th 2019 05:40 pm
Pictured with Congressman Brian Higgins are D'Youville College President Lorrie Clem and `CJ` Urlaub, past chairman of the board of trustees, president and CEO of Mercy Hospital.
Pictured with Congressman Brian Higgins are D'Youville College President Lorrie Clem and "CJ" Urlaub, past chairman of the board of trustees, president and CEO of Mercy Hospital.

Grant project provides resources to support those who commit to teaching next generation of nursesCongressman Brian Higgins joined D’Youville College in announcing a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services totaling $401,442. The award is provided to the Patricia H. Garman School of Nursing at D’Youville College to address a shortage in faculty available to educate future nurses.

The director of the grant project is Dr. Denise Dunford, chairwoman of D’Youville College’s graduate nursing program. She is director of the family nurse practitioner program, doctor of the nursing practice program, a nurse for over 40 years, nurse practitioner for 25 years and double-board-certified as a family nurse practitioner and emergency nurse practitioner.

“An aging baby-boomer population and retiring nursing workforce is driving the demand for new nurses; but we need qualified instructors willing to step up and train the next generation of nurses,” said Higgins, who serves on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. “This initiative, led by Dr. Dunford and D’Youville College, works to address those gaps and facilitate the supply of well-trained nurses into the health care delivery system right here in Western New York.”

D’Youville President Lorrie Clemo, Ph.D., said, “On behalf of the entire D’Youville community, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Congressman Higgins for his support of our efforts to secure this important grant. The nurse faculty loan program funding will allow D’Youville to bridge the nurse faculty gap in our Patricia H. Garman School of Nursing while supporting eight doctoral level and 20 masters level students who will make a commitment to becoming future teachers. This grant will further enhance D’Youville’s commitment as a leader in educating future leaders who will work to care for the population, especially the poor and vulnerable in our community.”

Jamel Perkins, D’Youville board chair, added, “I would like to congratulate D’Youville on receiving this grant. It is a real honor and will play an integral role in growing and improving our high-quality nursing program."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations” creating a need for over 438,000 additional RNs by 2026. Yet, a 2016-17 report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing found “nursing schools turned away over 64,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate programs because of an insufficient number of faculty.”

The federal grant is awarded to the Nursing School at D’Youville through the nurse faculty loan program, a loan forgiveness incentive aimed at training qualified nurse educators supporting an increase in the number of nurses entering the workforce. Through this grant, the Patrician H. Garman School of Nursing can focus on recruitment and mentorship of nurses who aspire to nursing faculty roles.

Reducing financial barriers to graduate education, this grant offers up to 85% loan forgiveness for nurses who pursue work as faculty. The college will use the resources to support 20 masters and eight doctoral students who commit to future teaching roles.

The student population in the Patricia H. Garman School of Nursing is diverse in terms of race and gender, establishing a pipeline for nursing faculty who are representative of the communities they serve. In addition, 91% of D’Youville Nursing graduates report working at organizations in areas deemed medically underserved or economically depressed.

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