To Help Address Nursing Shortage, DU Provides Most Loans to Future Nurse-Educators in PA
A key factor in addressing the continued national nursing shortage is to prepare more nursing teachers to allow nursing schools to open their doors to larger numbers of students. The Duquesne University School of Nursing is doing its part by administering a high volume of low-interest loans to future nurse-educators through the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP), a federal program created to help address the nursing shortage.
The DU nursing school, in fact, is currently making more funds available to students through this program than any other nursing school in the state and ranks 11th nationwide in terms of total dollars provided through the program. In addition, the amount of money made available to its graduate students by Duquesne’s School of Nursing has increased steadily, to a total of $655,716 for the 2011-2012 academic year—15-fold since the school made its first NFLP loan.
Experts agree that qualified nurses are needed now and that the need for them will increase in coming decades. With the benefit of more nurse-educators in mind, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began providing NFLP funding in 2003. Accredited nursing schools that offer master- or doctoral-degree programs apply for the loan funding, which they receive in one sum and then provide to their qualified students.
According to Leah Cunningham, assistant dean for student services in the nursing school, 88 graduate nursing students at Duquesne have received NFLP funds since 2003. A large percentage of the school’s doctoral students benefited from the program last year.
“Out of 96 doctoral students in the nursing school, 41 of them had their tuition fully funded by the program,” Cunningham explained. “The NFLP appears to be channeling prospects into nursing education quite effectively.”
Under the program’s attractive terms, students can be given loans for up to $35,500 each academic year for five years, and the loan can be used to pay for tuition or educational fees. Over a four-year period, 85 percent of the loan’s principal and interest will be forgiven if a graduate finds full-time employment as a faculty member at an accredited nursing school within nine months of graduation. Repayment of the remaining 15 percent of the loan can be postponed during those four years.
For more information available through the Duquesne School of Nursing programs, visitwww.duq.edu/nursing.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.