USD receives $3 million, five-year department of labor grant to train nurses

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 2:54 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

VERMILLION, S.D. (KOTA) - The University of South Dakota is a recipient of part of $78 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to support workforce training programs.

The USD Department of Nursing will use its $3 million grant to create a worker-centered response to the nursing shortage by working closely with workforce development and practice partners to support the development of a nursing workforce and facilitating new collaborations to improve nursing workforce pipelines.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that nurses make up the largest segment of U.S. healthcare professionals, with nearly 4.2 million registered nurses. However, the profession faces significant staffing challenges due to the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting an average of 203,200 openings for registered nurses each year through 2031. Research shows that adequate staffing is important for outcomes for nurses and patients and is essential to maintaining and improving the nation’s healthcare system.

To help address these workforce challenges, the department’s Employment and Training Administration has awarded funding through the Nursing Expansion Grant Program to 25 public-private partnerships in 17 states.

“Training additional nurses is not enough,” said Anne Pithan, chair of the Department of Nursing. “Solving this shortage will require both nursing academics and practice to collaborate to create innovative solutions to address this issue. We will work with practice partners, regulatory agencies, regional health centers, networks of small hospitals and community clinics, professional organizations, professional nursing networks, and behavioral health partners to make this happen.”

USD will provide educational pathways for nurses entering the profession and those looking to upskill to a higher degree in nursing by educating them for the BSN and MSN programs and employing scholarship funds.

“This grant will provide scholarship and student support services for 128 new baccalaureate and master’s prepared nurses to serve in hospitals and clinics across South Dakota,” Haifa Samra, Ph.D., dean of the USD School of Health Sciences, explained.