Samford University’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing has received more than $2 million to help make graduate nursing education more affordable for currently practicing or teaching nurses who are committed to careers in nursing education.
Samford’s $2,017,901 Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is the largest in the U.S. and one of only four nationally that exceeds $1 million. This is Samford’s 14th year to receive funding for the program.
NFLP grants are designed to help ease a national shortage of nursing educators, according to Nena F. Sanders, vice provost of Samford’s College of Health Sciences and nursing school dean. Students who receive loans for master's or doctoral degree programs can have up to 85 percent of the loan forgiven in exchange for service as full-time nursing faculty members at an accredited school of nursing. Students continue to receive funds for the duration of their degree program as long as they maintain good academic standing.
“As our modern health-care system continues to evolve and a projected wave of faculty retirements takes place over the next five years, the need for exceptionally prepared nurses is expected to reach record highs,” said Sanders. “It is estimated that our country will need more than 439,000 additional nurses by 2024, and the current nursing faculty shortage is impeding our ability to address the increased demand. The NFLP grant helps ease financial obstacles that could prevent qualified students from earning a graduate degree and therefore allows the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing to address the need for additional nurses in Alabama and across the nation.”
The NFLP was approved by Congress in 2002, and Samford was one of the first 55 nursing schools from across the U.S. to receive funds. Samford’s NFLP grants now total more than $9.1 million, and more than 400 students have benefited from NFLP awards at Samford and are serving as nurse educators across the country, Sanders added.
The 2016–17 grant is expected to help more than 140 students from 20 states in Samford’s master’s and doctoral nursing education programs. Samford received the largest of five grants in the state of Alabama. The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Alabama, the University of South Alabama and the University of Alabama in Huntsville received grants totaling a combined $1.1 million.
To apply for admission to Samford graduate programs in nursing, go to samford.edu/nursing/graduate-nursing.