Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Graduate Nursing received a $1.64 million Strategically Transforming and Advancing Nursing Diversity (STAND) grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to provide scholarships to underrepresented minority nursing students as well as supportive services to help them succeed.

“This STAND award allows the College of Graduate Nursing to continue ensuring that the nursing workforce matches the California population characteristics,” said CGN Dean Mary Lopez, PhD, RN, MSN. “We know that patient outcomes improve when patients are cared for by individuals with similar backgrounds.”

The funding will support 20 Master of Science in Nursing – Entry (MSN-E) students per year for the next three years. Each student would receive $14,500 over three semesters. The grant will also support CGN adding a support coach and tutor. Support coaches and academic tutors reinforce instructors’ content and help students master content.

CGN is enhancing its wraparound services to help students succeed in its rigorous, fast-paced curriculum, said CGN Associate Dean Rod Hicks, PhD, RN, FAANP, FAAN. The support coach will also help prospective students better understand the nursing school application process and nursing school pre-requisites, help them select a program that best fits, and help them understand the various roles in nursing.

The goal is for nursing profession demographics to mirror Census demographics.

“Nursing has historically had under representation by Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and some Asian populations, and, to a degree, males,” Hicks said. “We want individuals from diverse backgrounds, including economically disadvantaged, and coming from communities where medical care was limited.”