NSU Gets Grant To Expand Nursing Programs
GRANT TO NSU NURSING- This past Wednesday Natchitoche’s Northwestern State University Nursing Program in Natchitoches received a significant multi-year grant to help fill critical roles in northwest and Central Louisiana’s rapidly shrinking healthcare workforce. During a special ceremony on the NSU campus, Michael Tipton, president for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana foundation awarded a grant of $1.8 million and explained how it would be matched through other contributions.
“That $1.8 million will be matched by $1.2 million from private support, roughly $2 million from NSU,” Tipton said.
Currently there are more than 6,000 nursing vacancies throughout the state of Louisiana and according to the State Board of Nursing, as much as 30% of the current nursing workforce is going to leave the profession in the next 10 years.
The grants will allow NSU to expand two healthcare programs that will make it easier for paramedics, military medics and people with undergraduate science degrees to transition into high-paying nursing jobs. Dr. Joel Hicks, dean of NSU’s College of Nursing and School of Allied Health explained more. “Both of these programs offer an accelerated timeline to completion enabling nurses to enter the workforce sooner,” Hicks said.
“Students who are enrolled in this program are non-traditional which means they have a greater likelihood of success but it also means that they need accommodations with regard, they need more flexible schedules, they need sometimes financial support as well.”
These enhanced programs at NSU plan to add 300 nurses to the state workforce in the next four years, and more than 1,000 nurses by 2032. Approximately 30% of current NSU students are enrolled in the nursing program.