JSU Newswire
Jacksonville, Alabama

Grant To Promote Careers in Nursing and Health Sciences

Jamie M. Eubanks
JSU News Bureau

JACKSONVILLE -- July 24, 2001 -- It’s 2010, you’re gravely ill and in need of a trained nurse. But because of the overwhelming nursing shortage, you must sit for hours in a crowded waiting room with other patients who are just as sick as you. This could happen in the United States if the number of professionally trained nurses continues to diminish.

But Jacksonville State University’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences is taking measures to prevent that scene from ever becoming a reality. On June 28, the Department received a grant totaling $450,950.00 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This money will be used over the next three years to increase the supply of nurses with Master’s degrees who care for underserved populations. These “underserved” populations are at high risk for disease and have limited knowledge and accessibility to quality health care. These individuals range from those with HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and diabetes.

JSU recently added a graduate nursing program and graduated its first class in December of 2000.

“We will use the grant to recruit students for the graduate nursing program,” says Dr. Beth Hembree, professor of nursing, who co-wrote the grant proposal with Dr. Jane Cash, also a professor of nursing.

The grant will be used for retention of those students. “Once we get them in the program, we want them to remain, so they can be as successful as they can be,” says Hembree. “We will also use the funds for program development activities and to hire a nationally recognized consultant.”

Kids into Health Careers is one of the programs this grant will help to initiate at JSU. It was started by the federal government to educate and encourage children about careers in the health field. And JSU nursing faculty will provide Kids into Health Careers activities in the local schools.

“With the national shortage of nurses,” says Hembree, “this Kids into Health Careers will allow us to get children interested in the health profession before they are juniors or seniors in high school.”

The consultant will help the College of Nursing revise the curriculum to meet the demands of this everchanging field and the demands of students who dream of being a nurse but may be disadvantaged in some way.

“In this area, we have numerous disadvantaged students,” comments Hembree. “Our goal is to be responsive to their needs and help them become successful in this field.”

While current trends show that by the year 2010, 146,000 health care positions will be unfilled, JSU’s College of Nursing refuses to let that happen.

“This grant is a timely response to the current nursing shortage,” says Dr. Martha Lavender, Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at JSU. “This will allow us to teach even more nurses how to meet the complex needs of patients.”

Through this grant, JSU’s College of Nursing will keep training nurses to increase our years of healthy life and reduce our health disparities.


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