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N.C. A&T Receives $3.25M for Nursing Scholarships

By Staff Report / 07/07/2020 College of Health and Human Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 7, 2020) – Thanks to a $3.25 million award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), students in the School of Nursing at North Carolina Technical and Agricultural State University will have the opportunity to receive full scholarships over the next five years.

N.C. A&T will receive $650,000 per year through the HRSA funding through an effort led by Lenora Campbell, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. The money comes from HRSA’s Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program, which is designed to increase the number, ethnic diversity and distribution of nurses to remediate the state of North Carolina’s shortage of diverse healthcare providers.

The award is expected to provide full scholarships to 25 eligible full-time juniors and seniors in the School of Nursing.

This marks the first time the university has received scholarship funds through the HRSA program.

“Our goal is to establish a program that enhances academic success for our students and produces graduates who are commitment to health equity, eliminating health disparities, and serving medically underserved populations,” said Campbell.

While the primary focus is to cultivate equity in the nursing workforce, it also will equip nursing students to reduce health disparities which have been illustrated most recently by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“We plan to promote academic achievement of the participants by enhancing their engagement in the learning process through greater use of active learning and team-based strategies and a focused approach to academic coaching model,” said Campbell.

Policies that multiply health inequities have persisted for generations, resulting in long-standing inequities and barriers to good health and, consequently, health disparities. Having a diverse nursing workforce improves population health outcomes, particularly within underrepresented groups. The African American population in North Carolina is 22%, but African Americans only make up 12.5% of the state’s registered nursing population.

An important goal of the HRSA award is to increase the number of students from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds who successfully enter and complete the B.S.N. program and are successful on the NCLEX on the first attempt. This will be done by strengthening partnerships with high schools and area Health Career Access Programs to increase recruitment of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The nursing program at A&T has experienced significant growth over the last five years and boasted a 97 percent NCLEX pass rate for 2019.

This past spring, the school established a partnership with Cone Health to pilot test the health equity toolkit created by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), AARP and AARP Foundation. The HRSA award further elevates A&T’s nationally-recognized commitment to both education and health equity.

Criteria for receiving an HRSA-funded scholarship, including financial need, is still being determined. Students will be able to apply through the Office of Student Support Services.

“From its inception, A&T has been one of the largest contributors of African American nurses in North Carolina,” said Campbell. “The HRSA award is a game-changer for nursing at A&T and will ensure that we continue the tradition of contributing to a more diverse nursing workforce.”

A&T’s School of Nursing was founded 66 years ago based on nursing workforce equity and first accredited by the National League of Nursing in 1971 and has maintained continuous accreditation ever since then.

It offers a B.S. program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing through 2022. Students can pursue their B.S.N. through three entry options: traditional, accelerated second degree and registered nurse completion for those who already hold an associate nursing degree.

Media Contact Information: ucomm@ncat.edu