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College of Graduate Nursing receives HRSA funding

by Rodney Tanaka

July 19, 2013

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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 $256,526 for the National Faculty Loan Program (NFLP).

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

“California will truly benefit from this award,” said College of Graduate Nursing Founding Dean Karen Hanford, EdD, RN, FNP. “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.”

Added Rod Hicks, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, FAANP, FAAN, WesternU’s Assistant Director for the DNP Program: “These funds are used by students to offset the cost of higher education. For students to qualify for federal support, they must agree to teach for at least four years after completion of the program. This generous support from HRSA demonstrates its commitment to assuring that our nursing workforce is sufficient to meet health care needs. 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 nurses would not be able to obtain a doctorate in nursing practice.”

The College of Graduate Nursing offers masters and doctoral degrees in nursing, and has more than 400 students. The College was the first to offer the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in Southern California, and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students seeking the DNP degree can complete the program within two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study.

“Educating doctorally-prepared nurses is an important part of WesternU’s commitment to train the health care workers of tomorrow,” said WesternU President Philip Pumerantz, PhD. “Our high-quality DNP program is developing future nursing leaders who will play a key role in meeting ever-increasing health care demands.”

For more information about the College of Graduate Nursing, please contact the Office of Student Services at 909-469-5515. Visit the College’s web page at

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