School of Nursing receives federal grant to help ease shortage of nurse educators

nursingCase Western Reserve University’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing received a $2.5 million federal grant to provide loans that encourage students pursuing advanced degrees to become nurse educators.

Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA) introduced the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) in 2004 to encourage more nursing students to pursue advanced degrees and teaching careers in the field. The new grant from HRSA has similar goals for the nursing school.

According to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing survey of 662 nursing schools in 2012, faculty vacancies numbered nearly 1,200 positions and an additional 103 were needed to meet the demand for students interested in pursuing an education in nursing.

The loans cover approximately $35,500 a year for tuition and other costs for up to five years. Students who teach at a nursing school after earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nurse Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) degrees will have up to 85 percent of their loans forgiven.

This NFLP grant award is the largest the nursing school has received in 10 years of funding from HRSA, according to Jaclene A. Zauszniewski, the school’s director of the PhD in nursing program and project director for the NFLP program.

The grant continues support for 34 current full-time and 76 part-time nursing school students, and will provide loans for 28 full-time and 28 part-time students entering this academic year.

Since 2004, the nursing school has received NFLP funding to support 68 MSN, 146 DNP and 15 PhD students, Zauszniewski said.

The time given to achieve an advanced degree not only pays off for the student earning the degree, but the education also will benefit future students who will have an opportunity to learn from a highly educated faculty member, said Betty Napoleon, who is pursuing her PhD degree from the nursing school with an NFLP loan.

For practicing nurses like Hilary Applegate, the NFLP loan was life changing. “The loan enabled me to pursue and complete my MSN in adult/gerontology palliative care oncology,” she said. “And in the fall, it will allow me to pursue a PhD.”

To learn more about the program, contact Jaclene Zauszniewski at