JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing awarded $607,018 grant to support future nurse educators

The JoAnne Gay Dishman School of Nursing has been awarded a $607,018 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to provide education and tuition support to students who pursue degrees in nursing education.

The nursing school plans to implement a program providing opportunities for financial support to eligible nursing students that attend the Master of Science in Nursing Education track and Graduate Certificate Program for Nursing Education. This grant funded project aims to increase the number of qualified nursing educators to address the national shortage of nursing faculty.

“These grant dollars will be used to increase the number of nursing faculty throughout the region, state, and nation by removing one barrier to higher education-cost,” said Dr. Ruthie Robinson, director of Graduate Nursing Studies. “Eligible graduate nursing students can apply for loan repayment-up to 85% of their loans for their MSN.”

According to Robinson, the program will not only ease the financial burden for nursing students, but also increase the number of students admitted into the program and the number of graduates that complete the program. “We hope that by receiving this grant, LU’s MSN program will be able to attract even more students and further increase the number of nurse educators. While Texas and the nation is facing an increasing nursing shortage, the ability to smooth the pathway to becoming a nursing educator becomes even more important than ever,” she said.

LU’s MSN degree program’s Nurse Educator Certificate is suitable for registered nurses that hold a bachelor’s degree. Nurses with a current MSN in another specialty also can obtain the Nurse Educator Certificate allowing them to teach in accredited nursing programs. The Nursing Educator program will increase the number of individuals prepared to supplement nursing faculty numbers, a goal that is especially important as the state’s population rapidly grows and simultaneously ages. The project also will prepare students to enter a higher degree program to fulfill the role of nurse educators in accredited schools where a terminal degree is required and to function as preceptors for nursing students in the clinical arena.

“Lamar University’s MSN program is highly acclaimed and provides nurses with the tools they need to become successful nurse educators,” Robinson said. “If this initial year is successful, Lamar University will be eligible to reapply for this grant.”