Nursing School’s Federal Grant for Future Faculty is Largest in Pa.
For the 10th consecutive year, Duquesne University has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for School of Nursing graduate students who plan to be-or currently are and intend to continue to be-nurse educators.
The $457,745 grant is the highest awarded to any nursing school in Pennsylvania and the 11th highest in the United States.
Grant funds are provided through the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP), which aims to address the nation's nursing workforce shortage by increasing the number of qualified nurse educators. Having more nurse educators makes it possible for nursing schools to expand enrollment, resulting in larger graduating classes.
NFLP grants are made available to schools offering doctoral nursing programs that prepare graduates for teaching. Nursing schools receiving NFLP grants make loans from the funds to graduate students who aim to become nurse educators. The program provides generous terms-for borrowers who graduate and teach full-time in an accredited school of nursing for at least four years, 85 percent of their loan principal and interest will be forgiven.
According to Leah Cunningham, assistant professor and assistant dean of nursing at Duquesne, 56 percent of the total tuition for the nursing school's Ph.D. and DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) students was paid for through NFLP loans in the 2012-2013 academic year.
"Many of our doctoral students choose Duquesne because of our participation in the NFLP program," explained Cunningham, who has administered the grant since 2004.
The NFLP grants are provided through the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of HHS.