OHSU nursing school receives federal grant to improve student diversity

Getting more diverse students into nursing school and supporting them during their educational program is the goal of a $1.05 million grant to the School of Nursing at the Oregon Health & Science University. Awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the funding began July 1, 2013 and runs for three years.

Peggy Wros, Ph.D., R.N., principal investigator and the nursing school’s associate dean for student affairs and diversity along with Joanne Noone, Ph.D., R.N., campus associate dean in Ashland and project manager for this grant look forward to what this will allow the School to accomplish. Wros says, “Significant health disparities can be addressed by health care professionals who are members of the same ethnic or racial community.”

Susan Bakewell-Sachs, dean of the nursing school, says the funding will enhance ongoing efforts in the nursing school in a priority area and create a tested model that she hopes can be replicated in other places.

In Oregon, the program specifically hopes to increase the number of undergraduate nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds by 2 percent a year, going from the current 13 percent to 19 percent by 2016. Because of the state’s poor ratio of Latino nurses to the Latino population (3.6 percent nurses to 12 percent population), the grant hopes to boost enrollment and support for students of Latino/Hispanic origin.

For more details, read the full press release here.

Christi Richardson is the Web and Communications Specialist for the OHSU School of Nursing. She manages the School’s newsletter, maintains the website and manages all social media.
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