BSU Nursing Program Receives Grant for Expansion

Jul 11, 2007 Issues: Health

(WASHINGTON, DC)—U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson announced that the Bemidji State University Nursing program has received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to implement funding for the Department of Nursing, help secure the director position for the four-year track, fund supplies and equipment, and assist with expanding the number of faculty.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that BSU was able to get the funding for this important program,” Peterson said. “This proposal to expand their nursing program was something that I was eager to support from day one.”

The DHHS grant comes through the Health Resources and Services Administration, and will allow BSU to begin their four-year nursing program in the fall of 2007. The award also will help the university to improve nursing education access for rural and American Indian students and prepare nurses for work in rural areas.

“If we educate our students in our rural communities, I think there’s an even greater chance that they’ll stay here,” Peterson said. “As our population ages, people living in our rural areas are going to rely more and more on a younger workforce to take care of them”

Dean of the College of Social and Natural Sciences Dr. Ranae Womack said, “Our thanks to Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson and his staff, and Dr. Kathleen Annette and the Indian Health Service Area Office for their support. I am also grateful for the efforts of Jeanne Larson and the significant contributions of Gwen Verchota and the faculty members of the Department of Nursing who have made this program possible. The support of our Academic Vice President/Provost, Joann Fredrickson, was critically important.”

The new baccalaureate program will augment BSU’s nationally accredited registered nurse completion program and will have a goal of enrolling a total of 250 nurses each year once the program has ramped up to full capacity in four years.