USF Receives $350,000 Federal Grant to Support Nursing Master Degree Students

August 1, 2016

USF Nursing student watching other nursing students work on a simulation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has announced that the University of Saint Francis is receiving an Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) grant for $350,000 over the upcoming academic year. The purpose of the funding is to address morbidity and mortality in underserved populations. This is the fifth consecutive year that USF Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students have received this funding.

With this year’s grant award, over 150 USF students have received $1.5 million dollars toward tuition. With the inception of this Nursing Workforce funding, the average federal loan debt of MSN FNP graduates has declined by double digits, more students have completed the program, and the number of diverse students has increased.

“The graduate nursing program has honored the mission of the University of Saint Francis by encouraging an environment that fosters learning, leadership and service,” said USF MSN graduate Ashley Boettcher. USF MSN graduate Tammy Miller said, “This program is challenging to say the least, but … allows the student to be self-sufficient, confident and professional upon graduation.”

The University of Saint Francis offers a Master of Science in Nursing-Family Nurse Practitioner track. This USF program has been ranked among the best graduate nursing programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

USF offers an RN to MSN track for Associate Degree and Diploma nursing graduates in addition to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to MSN track, which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). With a strong community service focus, this 45-credit hour program supports healthcare needs with over 600 clinical hours. Students in the RN-MSN track are required to take an additional 16 hours of undergraduate credits as a transition sequence before beginning the MSN graduate-level curriculum.

Clinical placements include primary care office settings, county Board of Health clinics, FQHCs (federally qualified health centers), pediatric and women-focused clinics, and other clinical sites. More than 50 percent of sites are clinical practice locations and rural sites in HPSA (health professions shortage areas) counties or have HPSA site designations.

USF FNP graduates have a certification rate of 99 percent over the past ten years and 100 percent employment rates. The graduates since the initial grant award have been hired and are visible in the changing landscape of the primary care model in the region.