Coleman announces federal grants for eight Minnesota nursing programs

Posted: July 11, 2007

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

News Release from the Office of United States Senator Norm Coleman

Total of $478,013 awarded to state colleges and universities for nursing education and retention programs

July 11th, 2007 - St. Paul - Sen. Norm Coleman today announced the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a total of $478,013 in discretionary grants to eight nursing education programs throughout Minnesota. The grants are part of the department's Nurse Education, Practice and Retention Grants program, which aims to expand enrollment in baccalaureate nursing programs, develop and implement internships and residency programs, and provide education in new technologies.

"There is currently a shortage of nurses and it will only intensify in the years to come," Coleman said. "It is my hope that this funding helps make careers in nursing more viable and accessible for those interested in the field. This next generation of nurses needs the highest caliber of training available in order to succeed in this demanding and essential career field, and the public will benefit greatly from the resources these grants provide."

Specific funding is as follows:

InstitutionGrant Amount
Bemidji State University $248,896
University of Minnesota $78,903
Winona State University $37,086
College of St. Scholastica $34,704
Minnesota State University, Mankato $30,552
Metropolitan State University $21,438
Minneapolis School of Anesthesia $12,882
St. Mary's University of Minnesota $11,137
University of Minnesota, Hospitals and Clinics $2,415

A 2006 Health Resources and Services Administration report estimated that by the year 2020 the national nursing shortage would triple to more than one million nurses. Although applications to nursing programs have surged 59% over the past decade, the National League for Nursing estimates that 147,000 qualified applications were turned away in 2004. This represents a 27 percent decline in admissions over the previous year, indicating the need to increase capacity in nursing programs is more critical than ever.

Sen. Coleman has been working to address the challenges of nursing retention and training, most recently by introducing Nurse and Physical Therapist Education Act, which will also provide grants to nursing schools for the recruitment and retention of new faculty as well as the promotion of nursing student enrollment and graduation. During the first year, his bill will grant ten awards of $100,000 to nursing schools for up to five years each, increasing to 30 awards in years three, four, and five.