ASU gets $5.5 million grant for accelerated program to help with nursing shortage

The funds will help kids get through nursing school but will also directly impact people living in Arizona.
Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:54 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- In an effort to get more nurses working in our state, the department of health services is giving Arizona State University millions of dollars to put toward its nursing program. The funds will help kids get through schooling but will also directly impact people living in Arizona.

The Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation will be getting $5.5 million to get more than 100 students through an accelerated program in just one year. This comes at a time when there is a dire need for registered nurses. “The last several years with the pandemic, and with what happened with COVID, has highlighted the need for more nurses, and we knew this was happening. We knew this shortage was looming, but this exasperated the issue,” said Judy Karshmer, the dean of the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.

Eighty percent of the money will be used for scholarships that will pay tuition and fees for the students. The other 20 percent will be used to hire faculty members. The money will also have a direct impact on Arizona families. “They all already are college graduates and already have all their prerequisites,” Karshmer said. “After this year the commitment is four years practicing as a nurse in Arizona.”

“That’s an absolute win for our state and the patients we take care of in this state absolutely,” said Heidi Sanborn with the Arizona Nurses Association. “We still do have a lot of vacancies for nursing positions.” She says there are three major challenges right now. Some nurses are leaving their jobs to pursue something else, it’s been hard to get students out to positions in a timely manner, and baby boomers are retiring. “Whenever you don’t have enough nurses to be able to take care of the patients who need their highly skilled care, that is really a public health crisis and that’s where we are at in the state,” Sanborn said.

This is a one-time grant program, but Karshmer is hopeful its success will be noticed. “As we really partner with our clinical agencies they are going to say, hey this is the best thing we have, let’s partner together to make this work,” she said.

There is an application process to get into this accelerated program. For more information, click here.