The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Graduate Nursing $229,970 for the National Faculty Loan Program (NFLP).

This is the eighth year that HRSA has provided support to the College of Graduate Nursing (CGN). Funds from this award will be used to prepare future nurse educators enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

“California will truly benefit from this award,” said CGN Interim Dean Mary Lopez, PhD, RN. “More than three quarters of California residents live in an area that has a nursing shortage. These funds directly increase the number of faculty educated at the doctoral level, and help to alleviate the faculty shortage experienced by many schools and colleges of nursing within the state. An insufficient number of qualified faculty is consistently one of the leading reasons that schools and colleges turn away students.”

“These funds are used by students to offset the cost of higher education. By agreeing to teach for at least four years after completion of the program, the federal government is signaling a commitment to having an adequate quantity of professional nurses,” said CGN Professor and NFLP coordinator Rod Hicks, PhD, RN, FAANP, FAAN. “NFLP participants are eligible to retire up to 85 percent of the award through teaching in accredited schools of nursing. Without support such as the NFLP, many individuals would not be able to obtain a doctorate in nursing practice.”

The College of Graduate Nursing offers masters and doctoral degrees in nursing, and currently has more than 400 students. The College was the first to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in Southern California. Students seeking the DNP degree can complete the requirements either with two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study. For more information, visit CGN’s website at http://www.westernu.edu/nursing/.