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WesternU College of Graduate Nursing receives state funding to address medically underserved areas, mental health needs

The Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development awarded Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Graduate Nursing $132,000 from the Song-Brown program to support its Family Nurse Practitioner program. The College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) was one of 11 programs within California to receive an award.

This award will augment the College’s primary care education and further prepare nurse practitioners with additional skills to address the mental health needs of the state’s population, said Christine Magladry, DNP, RN, FNP, interim director of CGN’s Family Nurse Practitioner program.

“California residents will truly benefit from this award, as it supports education and training of the next generation of health care providers” she said. “The award increases primary care services for Californians in medically underserved areas.”

“The College of Graduate Nursing has a long-standing tradition of educating future nurse practitioners to practice at the fullest extent of training in caring for diverse populations,” said College of Graduate Nursing Dean Mary Lopez, PhD, RN. “I applaud the Song-Brown program for its ongoing commitment to increase the number of students and residents receiving quality primary care education and training in areas of unmet need throughout California.”

CGN was the first program in the nation to offer an innovative model that incorporated distance education with onsite training for nurse practitioners. The College offers master’s degrees and doctoral degrees for professional registered nurses. For more information about the College of Graduate Nursing, please contact the Office of Student Services at 909-469-5515.  Visit the College’s web page at https://www.westernu.edu/nursing.

CGN Awarded HRSA National Faculty Loan Repayment Program Grant

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded the Western University of Health Sciences College of Graduate Nursing $176,610 for the National Faculty Loan Program (NFLP).

Funds from the award will be used to prepare as many as 15 future nurse educators enrolled in the College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) Doctor of Nursing Practice program. This is the ninth year that HRSA has provided support to CGN.

“California, like many of the other states in the nation, has many schools that experience a lack of qualified faculty. These shortages mean that nursing programs are not able to admit all qualified students,” said CGN Dean Mary Lopez, PhD, MSN, RN. “Turning away nursing students contributes to the RN shortage. In fact, data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning suggests that 21 percent of California’s population lives in an RN shortage area. In addition, more than 35 percent of faculty are approaching retirement age.”

Data from the Board of Registered Nurses affirm the shortage with an 8.2 percent vacancy rate. Eighty-four percent of nursing faculty in California have less than a doctoral degree, said CGN Professor Rodney Hicks, PhD, APRN, FAANP, FAAN, who wrote the grant and serves as project director.

NFLP participants are eligible to retire up to 85 percent of the award by agreeing to teach for at least four years after completion of the program in accredited schools of nursing.

Lopez noted that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections 2014-2024 lists Registered Nursing (RN) among the top occupations in terms of job growth through 2024. The College of Graduate Nursing continues to receive funding to increase the number of nursing faculty and address the professional nurse shortage, she said.

Accomplishments

Karen Hanford, Ed.D., R.N., FNP, Founding Dean of the College of Graduate at Western University of Health Sciences, is pleased to announce two new funding awards for students pursuing the Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree. “With generous support from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veteran’s Health, the College will be able to award two $10,000 scholarships for students working on veteran’s specific health care needs in 2015-2016” said Dean Hanford. There are more than 22 million veterans that have made significant sacrifices for the country. The Jonas Center leads the nation in preparing nurse scholars to address many of the tremendous health challenges that face the veteran.

Jennifer Waggoner-Donald, MSN, MS, PHN, RN and William Donald, MSN, RN, CCRN were selected as the first two award recipients. Donald is also a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force Reserves Nurse Corp.

Rodney Hicks, PhD, RN, FNP, FAANP, FAAN, Professor and Director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program adds “both individuals have long family histories of military service. Each scholar will be working on projects that address traumatic brain injuries”

Dean Hanford also said “Both scholars will join more than 250 doctoral students in Washington, DC later this year to network and collaborate on Veteran’s projects. Scholars address complex issues such as health care administration, health policy, barriers to care, and direct patient care needs”.

Western University, a non-profit university, is among the nation’s largest universities dedicated to the preparation of future health care professionals. The College of Graduate Nursing, a nationally accredited nursing program, is one of the 9 colleges located on the Pomona campus that offers a Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Graduate Programs.com recently ranked the College as number 10 of the top 25 nursing schools in the country.

The Jonas Center for Nursing Excellence was created in 2006 and serves to advance scholarship, leadership, and innovative practice. Presently, the Center has supported more than 600 doctoral students at more than 115 leading academic institutions across all 50 states. More information about the Center is available at www.jonascenter.org

Community Outreach

Alumni

CGN graduates are invited to stay in touch and get involved with their alma mater by visiting the Alumni area on our Web site.

Employment Opportunities

Alumni seeking nursing positions are encouraged to visit the Alumni Career Resources Center. Additional job postings may be found on the Nursing Employment Opportunities page powered by www.AfterCollege.com.