On September 8, university officials announced a $3 million federal grant to increase access to and the completion of the existing graduate degree in nursing, specifically for African-American and low-income students. The grant will assist the university from 2009 to 2014, the school said.
WAU, formerly known as Columbia Union College, is one of five “predominantly Black” colleges and universities to benefit from the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, sponsored by U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-California., and signed into law by then-President George W. Bush in the fall of 2008. The U.S. Department of Education lists five eligible schools: Chicago State University; Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus; Robert Morris College; and York College, The City University of New York, along with WAU.
Washington Adventist University currently offers a Master of Science in Nursing with Business Leadership (MSN-BL) that was implemented in 2007. The grant will also allow the university to create two new academic concentrations: an educator track to the MSN-BL, called the Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Educator (MSN Nurse Educator) and an Associate Degree in Nursing to Master of Science in Nursing (ADN to MSN). The MSN Nurse Educator track’s due to begin in the Fall of 2010, and the ADN to MSN should start the following year.
“This grant will currently allow us to offer more students the opportunity to receive their Master’s degree in nursing with financial assistance,” said Gina Brown, dean of the School of Health Professions, Science, and Wellness, in a statement released by the school. “Funding is focused on strengthening simulation, academics, scholarshiping, and producing graduates to address the shortage within the nursing arena. Research, publication, and faculty advancement are also focal points of the grant”.
Separately, a $1.3 million grant from the Maryland Hospital Administration made possible by Adventist HealthCare, one of the Columbia Union Conference’s healthcare networks. WashingtonAdventistUniversity is one of 17 schools receiving grants from the Who Will Care Fund, part of a statewide initiative meant to stave off a nursing shortage in Maryland.
Adventist HealthCare donated the first $1 million of the grant to the Who Will Care Fund earmarked for WAU, with the remainder coming from private donors. The grant will be paid out over a five-year period.
-- AR Staff, with additional information from the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists