October 1, 2022
By Janice Phelan
Communications and Marketing University of Central Missouri-Missouri Innovation Campus
The University of Central Missouri is one of 11 Missouri public and private colleges and universities that will benefit from nearly $3 million in grant funding from Governor Mike Parson to support nursing education programs and the development of solutions to alleviate staffing shortages in this area and nationwide.
UCM will receive $300,000, according to the governor’s office. The competitive grants were part of a special appropriation to the Missouri State Board of Nursing that was recommended by the governor. UCM’s School of Nursing operates out of the university’s Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit
“My administration has prioritized workforce development, especially for our high demand fields such as nursing,” Governor Parson said. “It is vitally important that we continue to invest in Missouri’s health care workforce. These grant funds will assist in expanding clinical partnerships and nursing resources to better provide students with a valuable education as well as increase enrollment capacity in the future.”
Funds were awarded to nursing programs that have proposed innovative solutions to assist in alleviating the nursing shortage, the governor’s office stated. Institutions plan to increase nursing faculty, develop career ladder programs that start in high school, leverage virtual simulation and distance learning. They also hope to expand earn-while-you-learn models where students can be paid at the same time they are pursuing their clinical education.
Dr. Nicole “Nic” Web, associate dean of the College of Health, Science and Technology, and Dr. Jaime Dodson, interim chair of the School of Nursing at UCM, co-wrote the grant to provide funding for the School of Nursing. The funding will support a program in which nurse educator students can receive a paid practicum experience by providing clinical instruction to baccalaureate nursing students. In addition to this program, there will be scholarship opportunities to support nurse educator students.
The availability of these opportunities for Nurse Educator students are beneficial for the UCM School of Nursing and its students.
“This bridges the gap for a shortage of nursing faculty which in turn allows for the admission of additional students to the baccalaureate program,” Webb said.
Webb added that these state funds will support the purchase of equipment and technology. This includes the opportunity to purchase technology that augments clinical instruction.
“We are proud of our Missouri nursing programs that proposed solutions which showcase their ability to lead change and transform nursing education,” said Lori Scheidt, executive director of the Missouri State Board of Nursing. “I look forward to seeing these grant funds put into action to strengthen Missouri’s nursing pipeline.”
David Pearce, executive director for Governmental Relations at UCM, thanked Governor Parson, the State Board of Nursing and others involved in this grant process for their support of UCM’s School of Nursing.
“We are grateful that Governor Parson and the State Board of Nursing recognize the importance of the healthcare workforce. Their support through this grant just validates what we are doing at UCM to train individuals to serve in the nursing profession to meet important health care needs in this state,” Pearce said.
UCM was one of four institutions that received $300,000 grants. This was the maximum amount given to any of the institutions that were issued grants under this program.
The governor’s office also noted that in addition to these funds, the nursing board has awarded more than $8 million through the Nursing Education Incentive Program (NEIP). That represents a total investment of more than $11 million to improve infrastructure for Missouri nursing programs and promote innovation in nursing education. NEIP is an annual grant program designed to increase the physical and educational capacity of professional nursing programs throughout the state.
More information about NEIP grants can be found at the Missouri State Board of Nursing’s website (https://pr.mo.gov/nursing.asp).