Viterbo University Awarded $1.64 Million U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Nursing Workforce Diversity Program Grant

June 21, 2017

Contact Mary Lu Gerke at 608-796-3664 or mlgerke@viterbo.edu

VITERBO UNIVERSITY AWARDED $1.64 MILLION U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES NURSING WORKFORCE DIVERSITY PROGRAM GRANT

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Viterbo University was awarded a $1.64 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Nursing Workforce Diversity Program.

The funds will be used to support Viterbo’s Nurses for Underserved Rural Students Seeking Educational Success (NURSES) program. This unique initiative is designed to address the rural nursing workforce shortage and improve rural health outcomes through an increase in the number and preparedness of nurses from, and willing to serve, rural and disadvantaged populations.

During the 2017–2021 grant period, Viterbo NURSES program objectives include:

  • Increase awareness, interest and knowledge of the nursing profession, including academic requirements, through customized outreach activities to rural, disadvantaged students in grades 6–12, specifically targeting districts with high Hispanic or low income populations.
  • Increase enrollment of rural, disadvantaged students into the BSN program to impact the rural nursing workforce shortage and improve rural health outcomes.
  • Enroll up to 12 new students in the NURSES program annually and retain 80% of NURSES students to graduation.
  • Provide financial support in the form of scholarships and stipends to eligible Viterbo University NURSES students.
  • Enhance cultural competency and the understanding of rural health for all BSN students and faculty.

“This project will inspire, recruit, and graduate students from rural and disadvantaged backgrounds and infuse them with passion and compassion so they can make a real difference in the lives of the patients they serve,” said Mary Lu Gerke, dean of the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Behavior. “On behalf of the entire Viterbo community, we are grateful to be awarded this grant.”

Viterbo University was one of 29 colleges and universities in the nation to receive the grant.

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