Georgia Baptist College of Nursing Awarded $430,000
From Health and Human Services to Educate New Nursing Faculty

August 16, 2011

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037 or vanderhoek_m@mercer.edu

ATLANTA – Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing has been awarded two grants totaling more than $430,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support nursing training and increase the number of nursing faculty in the country.

“These grants will help our graduate students to attend school and meet financial obligations associated with advanced education,” said Dr. Linda Streit, dean of the College. These funding sources will aid in recruitment as well as enhance health care throughout Georgia, she said.

The College received $413,815 for its Nurse Faculty Loan Program to assist registered nurses in completing their graduate education to become qualified nurse faculty. The financial support assists the College by offering students the option to advance in nursing and consider a career as a nurse educator. It is open to any graduate student who includes the nurse educator track in their curriculum, including the Ph.D. program, which began in 2009, as well as the Doctor of Nursing Practice and Master of Science in Nursing programs.

The grant continues funding for the program, which has received more $2 million since 2004. The loan is forgivable up to 85 percent for borrowers who work as a full-time academic nurse educator for four years after graduation. The annual loan limit established by the federal government is $35,500 and established a priority for doctoral nursing students.

“Through tuition support, graduate students consider this a win-win option since it allows them to afford to go back to school and also prepares them well for an academic educator role,” Dr. Streit said. “In 2011, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing reported faculty shortages at nursing schools across the country, which results in limiting student capacity at a time when the need for professional registered nurses continues to grow. Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is directly addressing this crisis by focusing on educating future nurse educators.”

The College also received $17,833 towards the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship. This money will fund traineeships for registered nurses enrolled in advanced education nursing programs, such as the College’s new family nurse practitioner specialty of the Master of Science in Nursing degree. Traineeships prepare nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse-midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse administrators, nurse educators, public health nurses and nurses in other specialties requiring advanced education.

“There is a significant need for additional advanced practice nurses in the state of Georgia and this grant will help Mercer educate mid-level care providers to care for the citizens of Georgia,” Dr. Streit said.

About the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing
Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the oldest nursing program in Georgia. Over its 109-year history, the College has graduated more than 6,800 nurses. Since its founding, the College has been dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer University in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Ph.D. in Nursing.

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,200 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at four regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit www.mercer.edu.
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