August 10, 2011

Rockefeller, Manchin Announce $225,704 Grant to Strengthen Nursing Workforce Across West Virginia

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin today announced that universities and organizations across the state will receive a total of $225,704 to expand nursing education, training, and diversity in West Virginia. 

“The funding for these programs helps take a major step forward in preparing West Virginia’s future nurses,” said Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care.  “Nurses play such a critical role and they are the ones that make our hospitals run.  We must keep pushing to recruit and retain nurses, and this funding will help programs throughout the state do just that.  Working together we can continue to improve quality health care for West Virginia’s families and give people greater access to the care they need.”

“It’s important that we train our health workforce in West Virginia, and prepare our young men and women for challenging and promising careers right here at home,” Manchin said. “We need a workforce with the skills to take on the jobs of tomorrow and to carry out the services that communities in West Virginia desperately need – like providing quality health care. These funds are an investment in our students’ future, and in West Virginia’s future.”

Nursing workforce development programs, reauthorized by the health care reform law, are the primary source of federal funding for nursing education and workforce development.  These programs bolster nursing education at all levels, from entry-level preparation through the development of advanced practice nurses.  They also prepare faculty to teach the nation’s future nursing workforce. The grant funds come from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The following institutions received funding through various programs:

Nurse Faculty Loan Program: The program assists registered nurses in completing their graduate education to become qualified nurse faculty.  Through grants to eligible entities, partial loan forgiveness is offered for borrowers that graduate and serve as full-time nursing faculty for the prescribed period of time.  The health care reform law increased the annual loan limit to $35,500 from $30,000 and established a priority for doctoral nursing students.

  • $62,236 – Marshall University
  • $53,189 – West Virginia University 

Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship: This program provides funding for traineeships at eligible institutions for registered nurses enrolled in advanced education nursing programs. Traineeships prepare nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse-midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse administrators, nurse educators, public health nurses, and nurses in other specialties that require advanced education.  The health care reform law removed the 10 percent cap in this program that limited the amount of support that could go to nursing students pursuing doctoral degrees.

  • $51,744 - West Virginia University Research Corporation 
  • $35,717 - Marshall University Research Corporation 
  • $17,433 - Wheeling Jesuit University 

Nurse Anesthetist Training: The funding supports traineeships at eligible institutions for licensed registered nurses enrolled as full-time students in their second year of a two-year nurse anesthetist master’s program.

  • $5,385 - CAMC Health Education & Research Institute, based in Charleston