Federal grant to impact the lives of students, health care providers
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a two-year grant for nearly $700,000 ($697,515) to Wichita State University’s School of Nursing.
The grant is intended to increase the number of health care providers in primary care. There’s currently a shortage that’s expected to grow.
Grant funds will be used to award 15-16 nurse practitioner students who are in their advanced nursing education programs at Wichita State University. Both family nurse practitioner and psychiatric nurse practitioner students are eligible for the awards. Nearly 92 percent of the funds for the total project go directly to support students. Federal funding accounts for 97 percent of the total project cost, with the remaining 3 percent provided by WSU.
The grant to Wichita State has the potential of making a significant difference in the lives of nurse practitioner students, according to Alicia Huckstadt, professor and director of graduate programs and project director of the grant in the School of Nursing.
“These students typically cannot complete their education without financial support,” said Huckstadt. “Registered nurse student are often major contributors to their family’s income and cannot afford to take time away from their jobs to attend school or take multiple courses without significant financial support.
The financial support helps these students avoid some of the debt incurred in achieving a degree. The grant provides them this opportunity. It allows them to better focus on their advanced nursing education and become better practitioners.”
Student, faculty benefit
Huckstadt also said the educational focus benefits both faculty and students as they are better able to engage in richer teacher/learning experiences as they learn how to work with underserved populations with numerous and complex health needs.
The students graduate and enter the workforce ready to make an impact on the health care system.
“Historically, 100 percent of our students are employed when they graduate,” said Betty Smith-Campbell, chair of the School of Nursing.
After graduation, these alumni positively impact society by providing primary health care to underserved populations, said Huckstadt.