University System grant expands nursing program
Augusta State University’s Department of Nursing has been named one of 16 recipients of a Georgia’s Nursing Education Task Force grant from the University System of Georgia. According to Nursing Department Chair Charlotte Price, the $189,000 grant will be used to expand the capacity of the Associate of Science in Nursing degree program from 50 to 100 students each year.
“Like many of our sister schools, we are forced to turn away qualified applicants because of the lack of faculty,” says Dr. Price. “The ASU nursing program will use the grant to hire new faculty which gives us an opportunity to increase our enrollment.”
Prior to the grant, students were only admitted into the program in the fall semester. Starting in January of 2008, the program will admit students in both spring and fall, which Dr. Price hopes will eventually double the number of graduates. The grant also provides for the creation of a full-time position charged with tutoring and mentoring students as well as coordinating retention efforts.
“The goal is not just to admit the students but to also put strategies in place to help them successfully complete the program,” Dr. Price says. “Best of all, this grant will benefit the entire Augusta State University service area because most of our graduates remain in the area after graduation. The healthcare industry is a multibillion dollar employer in the Augusta area, and our graduates are badly needed. So we are delighted to help contribute to the economic wellbeing of the community as well as the general health of the community.”
The grant is part of $3 million in competitive awards going to 16 University System institutions and aimed at boosting the production of registered nurses and alleviating the nursing shortage in Georgia. A major component of the grant criteria was evidence of partnership with community stakeholders.
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