Caring for Missourians Grant a Boost for UCM Nursing Education
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Sept. 25, 2012) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has announced that the University of Central Missouri’s nursing program is one of six statewide that will receive a portion of $1 million in total grants from the Caring for Missourians Initiative.
UCM’s grant award is $131,266 - a financial boost for a program that has existed more than half a century at the university - will meet specific goals necessary to prepare more nurses for the state. Grants were approved by the State Board of Nursing, and made possible by revenues collected by the board for nurse licenses fees.
“As a recipient of a Caring for Missourians grant, UCM’s Department of Nursing will address the need for more BSN-prepared nurses in Missouri, the need for military veterans to have pathways to nursing degrees, the need for more diversity in the nursing workforce, and the need for nurses to care for the growing number of returning veterans,” said Barbara Baker, assistant professor of nursing at UCM. She was instrumental in preparing the university’s grant application.
The nursing department’s goals to be supported by the Caring for Missourians grant include:
- increasing the number of BSN students accepted into the pre-licensure program by 25 percent;
- developing effective academic pathways for military veterans to obtain BSN degrees;
- expanding the number of clinical sites through military veteran partnerships involving Whiteman Air Force Base and the Department of Veterans Affairs; and
- incorporating new technologies through the use of simulation in nursing labs.
“The grant means that we will be able to educate more students in nursing and in this instance, address needs of returning veterans who choose to pursue a career in nursing. It also enables us to educate nursing students across our undergraduate and graduate programs about health needs of veterans and to more fully implement simulation as a teaching modality,” said Julie Clawson, chair of the Department of Nursing.
In announcing the grant program, Gov. Nixon said, “Nursing is a rewarding career in a high-demand field. Unfortunately, prior to this initiative, bright and talented students were being turned away from nursing schools because they were at capacity. That’s why my administration has made it a priority to increase the number of nursing students and graduates in Missouri. These Caring for Missourians program grants will help our nursing schools open the doors of opportunity to more students and connect them with a solid career here in the Show-Me State.”
UCM’s BSN program is part of a long-standing tradition of higher education that has served the West Central Missouri region for more than a century. UCM’s nursing program is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The Department of Nursing offers programs at the bachelor’s and master's degree levels, and students enjoy an excellent employment placement rate after graduation.