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The George Washington University School of Nursing Receives Nearly $1 Million Grant to Diversify Nursing Workforce
Recruitment efforts will focus on people of color and men living in the Washington D.C., region and in rural Virginia
August 08, 2012
ASHBURN, Va. - The George Washington University School of Nursing was recently awarded a three year grant totaling nearly $1 million from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration in support of the school’s Success in Nursing Education project, which aims to increase the number and diversity of nursing professionals, specifically African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, male and economically disadvantaged students in the Washington D.C., and rural Virginia areas.
GW nursing administrators predict diversity of the nursing workforce can be increased through its accelerated bachelor’s of science program at GW’s Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Va., and its online programs, which include an associate’s to bachelor’s degree and master’s of science in nursing and in other concentrations and the doctorate of nursing practice in which students can fulfill the clinical requirements in their home communities. Online programs require students to come to the GW campus three times a year.
“This grant is extremely important to the School of Nursing in fulfilling our mission to educate a diverse nursing workforce,” said School of Nursing Dean Jean Johnson. “Being able to develop and implement a program that provides a strong support system is what will make a major difference in helping our students be successful while responding to this critical need.”
A systematic recruitment plan will be developed to target potential students who are changing careers, already have a degree in another field and who also live in a medically underserved or health professional shortage area.
“By offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing we are confident that we can help meet the demand of nurses both in number and diversity,” said Ellen Dawson, professor of nursing for the School of Nursing and the principle investigator and program director of the grant. “We expect our program will allow rural communities to have access to a greater number of primary care providers and urban and suburban communities will likewise benefit from a greater number of primary care nurses.”
The School of Nursing will launch a marketing and recruitment outreach campaign using print, mail and social media mediums to reach disadvantage students. On-campus and virtual "open house" sessions geared specifically to the program’s target audience will provide prospective students with the opportunity to meet faculty and ask questions about the program.
To assure that students who enroll in the nursing degree programs complete it successfully, the School of Nursing will utilize retention tools such a culturally-conscious mentoring program based on a national model and a peer-support study group will include the development of modules directed at study skills. The grant is also providing scholarships and other financial aid for students who meet the recruitment criteria.
“The success of the grant lies in the recruitment and most importantly the retention of these students,” said Dr. Dawson. “Creating an atmosphere where the students have the tools and the mentoring to be successful is critical to their future and to the future of diversifying our nursing workforce.”
GW School of Nursing
Established in May 2010 and unbound by tradition, the GW School of Nursing (SON) embraces innovation by pushing the cutting edge of nursing practice and education to provide our students with a deep appreciation for compassionate and high quality health care. GW SON faculty members are exceptional educators who understand the complex world of healthcare and build on the intersection of patient care, research, and policy. The GW SON values lifelong learning, and our students are advancing nursing practice, leadership and learning—they are prepared to make a difference in the world at local, national and global levels.
Virginia Science and Technology Campus
The GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus, established in Loudoun County in 1991, is a robust center for innovative research, graduate education and regional corporate partnerships. As the university's science and technology campus, it hosts a dozen centers of excellence in critical areas such as energy science and technology, transportation safety and high performance computing. The GW Virginia Science and Technology Campus also combines its research excellence with more than 20 exceptional graduate degree and certificate programs in business, education, and engineering and unique undergraduate programs in the health sciences. GW has been educating Virginians for more than 50 years, beginning in Hampton Roads in 1958 and expanding its service across the Commonwealth, notably in Arlington, Alexandria and Ashburn. For more information on the Virginia Science and Technology Campus, visit www.gwvirginia.gwu.edu.