news release from Georgia Southwestern State University
AMERICUS, GA (Aug. 11, 2010) — The Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) School of Nursing was recently awarded scholarship funding through two one-year grants.
The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Program (SDS) granted them $46,637, and they were awarded $30,589 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Leisa Easom, with much help from the GSW Director of Institutional Research Lisa Cooper and Financial Aid Director Angela Bryant, worked closely with these agencies to secure funding. Easom is the Charles L. Mix Eminent Scholar and serves as chair and professor of the GSW School of Nursing.
"The current supply of registered nurses being educated in Georgia is inadequate to meet the current and projected workforce demands of the state and the problem is worsening each year," Easom said. "Georgia produced only
2.1 percent of the new registered nurses in the U.S. in 2006. This occurred despite the fact that Georgia is the ninth largest state and ranks 19th among states in the production of nurses. Nearly 20,000 additional registered nurses will be needed in Georgia by 2012. Additionally, the School of Nursing is committed to producing a culturally competent and diverse workforce – one that mirrors the current and future population across our state."
The SDS Program was established via the Disadvantaged Minority Health Improvement Act of 1990, Section 737 of the Public Health Service Act. The ARRA, a different funding source, has the same focus as SDS.
The purpose of these programs is to increase diversity in the health professions and the nursing workforce. This is done by providing grants to eligible health professions and nursing schools for use in awarding scholarships to financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Many of these students are from underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds and will help diversify the health workforce, ensuring culturally effective care and reducing health disparities.
The SDS Program, in particular, tackles a major barrier to disadvantaged students' access to health professions education -- namely, high tuition costs. Education is often interrupted due to the lack of funds, so scholarship awards may allow students to complete their education sooner without interruption.
The SDS Program gives funding priority to health professions and nursing schools with: 1) enrollment of underrepresented minorities above the national average; 2) at least 50 percent of graduates practicing in primary care; and 3) at least 10 percent of graduates working in medically underserved communities.
For more information, please contact the GSW School of Nursing at (229) 931-2275