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|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|July 22, 2004
||Contact: HRSA Press Office
Headline: HHS AWARDS $15.5 MILLION TO EXPAND, STRENGTHEN NURSING WORKFORCE
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced almost $15.5
million in grants to 62 universities, colleges, nursing schools,
medical centers and other health care institutions to expand
the nation's supply of qualified nurses and promote diversity
in the nursing profession.
"The national nursing shortage threatens the quality of
America's health care," said Secretary Thompson. "These
grants will help us meet future demand for the essential health care services that nurses provide."
A report issued by HHS in 2002, Projected Supply, Demand, and
Shortages of Registered Nurses: 2000-2020, predicted that the
nursing shortage is expected to grow to 29 percent by 2020, compared
to a 6 percent shortage in 2000. During Secretary Thompson's
tenure, funding for nursing programs has increased dramatically,
and six new nursing programs were implemented as part of the
Nurse Reinvestment Act of 2002.
Most of the funds announced today -- $10.1 million -- will support
38 grants under the Nurse Education, Practice and Retention Program.
That program is designed to:
- increase enrollment in baccalaureate nursing programs;
- develop internship and residency programs;
- promote cultural competency among nurses;
- improve access to health care for medically underserved populations;
- boost nurses' retention rates.
The remaining $5.4 million will support 24 grants under the
Nursing Workforce Diversity Program. That program supports student
scholarships and stipends and pre-entry preparation and nursing
retention activities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
"The workforce diversity grants effectively target resources
to racial and ethnic minorities who are underrepresented in nursing," said
Duke, Ph.D., administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration
(HRSA), the HHS agency that oversees the nursing programs." Student enrollment in nursing schools that receive these funds averages
38 percent minority, compared to a national average of 19 percent."
The Division of Nursing in HRSA's Bureau of Health Professions
provides national leadership to help ensure an adequate supply
and distribution of qualified nursing personnel to meet the nation's health care needs. For more
information, visit http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/nursing/. Lists of grantees
are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/20040722.html.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials
are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.