July 29, 2010

Loan forgiveness grants encourage nursing faculty

Loan forgiveness grants encourage nursing faculty

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing recently received more than $2 million worth of funding from the nurse faculty loan programs from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) fund and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for master’s and doctoral students who want to become faculty members after graduation.

“This financial support will help encourage more students to become teachers and expand capacity for many nursing schools – which is crucial to preparing enough nurses for the future,” said Linda Norman, D.S.N., R.N., senior associate dean for Academics.

Specifically, the HRSA funds of $1.6 million will be used for part-time and full-time students pursuing their master’s degrees in the science of nursing or doctor of nursing practice or Ph.D. degrees. They can receive up to $35,000 per year from this loan to cover tuition, fees, books, computers, and associated costs of education. Financial support for living expenses is not included.

If students take a faculty role following graduation, 85 percent of the loan is forgiven for working four years as a full-time faculty member. The remaining 15 percent is payable over a 10-year period.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, U.S. nursing schools turned away 54,991 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2009 due, in part, to an insufficient number of faculty.

Last year, VUSN received $512,800 in faculty loan forgiveness grants from HRSA and $451,792 in ARRA funds for the nurse loan forgiveness program.

“It is wonderful to receive this increased level of support at the time the world of nursing needs it most. This will make a profound difference in education and in health care delivery for years to come,” Norman said.