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College of Nursing gets $664K grant for scholarships

College of Nursing gets $664K grant for scholarships

SYRACUSE, N.Y.-- The College of Nursing at Upstate Medical University has been awarded a two-year $664,000 grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) to provide scholarships for nurses pursuing advanced degrees as primary care nurse practitioners.

Upstate’s College of Nursing is one of only 71 nursing schools and colleges across the country to receive the competitive grant funding.

HRSA is a program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designed to develop a culturally competent and diverse workforce.

“This support helps reduce the financial barriers for nurses who are seeking advanced training, and this is especially important as nurses continue to play a larger role on the frontlines of medical care,” said Elvira Szigeti, PhD, RN, dean of the College of Nursing.

Szigeti says many nurses return to school for this particular training, after being in the workforce and having a family. “The demands on their financial resources and time are significant and this support helps makes that path to an advanced degree easier to navigate.”

Szigeti says nurses with advanced training, especially nurse practitioners who specialize in geriatric care or mental health or another specialty, will be in great demand as the Affordable Care Act seeks to improve access to medical care for many.

Money from the grant will be awarded as scholarships to students pursuing advanced degrees as primary care nurse practitioners in the following programs offered by Upstate: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Family Psych-Mental Health.

Nurse practitioners can be key members of the healthcare team as they have the ability to provide diagnosis, treatment and consultation as well as write prescriptions and order diagnostic testing.

Szigeti said the amount of each scholarship would depend on how the number of applications funded, but cannot exceed $22,000 for a full-time student or $11,000 for a part-time student.

Upstate’s College of Nursing enrolls approximately 400 full and part-time students, and offers bachelor’s, master’s and post-master’s advanced certificates.