FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2011
Contact: Anika Mitchell Perkins
MUW’s graduate nursing program awarded a national HRSA grant
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Master’s level nurse practitioner students at Mississippi University for Women who will provide care for underserved areas after graduation may be eligible for scholarship assistance through the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) Grant.
MUW’s graduate nursing program was awarded a $52,466 (AENT) grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It will cover some of the college expenses for approximately 30 graduate nurse practitioner students.
“This is the largest HRSA AENT Grant we have received. It speaks strongly to the quality and reputation of our graduate nurse practitioner program,” said Dr. Sheila Adams, dean of the College of Nursing and Speech-Language Pathology.
Costs to attend a nurse practitioner program are expensive and include at least $2,000 above tuition costs for books, equipment and other expenses. “The focus of the graduate nursing program is to educate advanced practice nurses in primary care,” Adams said. “The majority of our graduate nursing students come from rural and underserved counties that have limited or no primary healthcare, and most will return to their home communities to provide healthcare to those underserved areas.”
Dr. Patsy Smyth was the primary grant writer, assisted by Dr. Johnnie Sue Wijewardane. Dr. Wijewardane will oversee the project and Dr. Smyth will assist, as needed.
Smyth noted some changes with the grant application which made the process more complex this year.
“I am excited to see we got it. It turned out really well,” she said. “I am really excited that some of our graduate students will be funded through the grant because costs to attend the program can be expensive.”
The AENT scholarships allowed non-traditional graduate student Christine McArthur of Vicksburg to return to graduate school.
"Making the decision to go to graduate school at my age was daunting. How would I put my life on hold and make sure my three children would not do without...I was thrilled to know I had the (scholarship) money…and instead of worrying about how I was going to make ends meet, I was able to concentrate on my books," McArthur said, thanking Dr. Smyth for her efforts.
Deanna Sanders of Amory also thanked Dr. Smyth. “I had to take a leave from my job to attend the program which further strained my family financially. Every little bit of money helps during graduate school,” she said.
Laura Beth Turner of Columbus added, "The financial aid that I received as a result of MUW being awarded the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship Grant helped to decrease the amount of financial strain associated with my graduate studies. I appreciate Dr. Smyth's effort in obtaining the grant, and I am very grateful for the assistance that it provided for myself and many of my fellow classmates."
MUW’s graduate nursing program, established in 1975, was the first Master’s Nurse Practitioner Program in Mississippi and the only program until the late 1990s. Graduates of this program have assumed leadership roles in healthcare throughout the state, region and country and have received prestigious awards such as the National Pfizer Advanced Nurse Practitioner Award for exceptional contributions to health care.
The university’s nursing department offers three degree programs: the Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). All three programs have been continually accredited by state, regional and national accrediting bodies. The Associate of Science in Nursing Program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. The Baccalaureate Nursing Program and the Graduate Nursing Program are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, which is now the preferred national accrediting body for baccalaureate and higher degree nursing programs.
This program is supported 100 percent by federal funding. There are no university dollars committed to this program.
For more information about MUW’s nursing programs, please contact the Office of Admissions at (662) 329-7106 or visit the web at www.muw.edu/nursing/.