Marshall University’s School of Nursing yesterday received federal funding to provide loans and scholarships for graduate and post-graduate students enrolled in nursing programs, according to an announcement from U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.).
“While this grant is not the largest in Marshall’s history, its reach and scope are immeasurable,” Rahall said. “By helping put nurse educators in the classroom, these funds address an approaching critical need.”
Marshall will receive a federal grant award worth $60,000, made available through the Nurse Faculty Loan Program at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The school will also increase its participation to include both full time and part time students by providing support for at least 10 West Virginia resident students, six metro area students and four nonresident students.
According to Dr. Charles Hossler, Director of the Nurse Faculty Loan Program at Marshall University, the nursing shortage in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio continues.
A news release from Rahall’s office stated that nurses, more and more, especially the nurse educators, are leaving their professions and are not being replaced.
“Because of the lack of a pool of qualified younger nurse educators it is becoming increasingly difficult to replace the retiring nurse educators severely limiting the size of nursing classes,” the release stated. “At Marshall University the average age of nursing professors is 51 with only 10 per cent of the faculty under the age of 40. Every nursing program in West Virginia is faced with similar problems.”
Following graduation, Nurse Faculty Loan recipients may cancel up to 85 percent of the loan over a consecutive four-year period while serving as full-time nurse faculty at a school of nursing.
“It’s been said a teacher affects eternity; that we do not know where their influence will end. What we do know is this funding fills an important need and is a major long term investment in the future health of our region.”