Waynesburg University's graduate nursing programs have once again been awarded federal dollars from the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP), which offers financial support to graduate students seeking a career in academia.
“The NFLP funding is such a vital resource to help with the nursing faculty shortage currently being experienced in the United States,” said Dr. Carol Patton, director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. "There are currently many issues contributing to the nursing faculty shortage, [but] the NFLP funding is the result of [nursing] organizations calling national attention to the faculty shortage issues of major policy stakeholders."
During the 2020-21 academic year, Waynesburg experienced increased student interest in the NFLP loan program and supported 42 students.
Approximately 60% of the students receiving the NFLP loans are currently enrolled in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program, and approximately 40% are students in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program.
"Thanks to the efforts and due diligence of Dr. Whiteman and others, Waynesburg University's graduate nursing students interested in pursuing careers as nurse educators are able to benefit from this generous support," added Dr. Patton.
Dr. Kimberly Whiteman, assistant professor of nursing, has played a key role in the NFLP grant process for the past several years.
The NFLP is a nationally funded federal program administered by the Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA). It is a one-year funding opportunity aimed at increasing the number of qualified nursing faculty.
This federal funding goes to accredited schools by way of individual loans to graduate nursing students. The students must be enrolled in advanced education nursing degree programs, seeking to become a nurse educator or a nursing faculty member in nursing education programs.
In exchange for full-time post-graduation employment as nurse faculty, the program authorizes cancelation of up to 85% forgiveness of any such loan if students work as nursing faculty for four years after their graduation.