Washington, D.C. (KINY) - As the nation honors their dedication and sacrifice during National Nurses Week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of more than $78 million in grants to support workforce training programs in 17 states and address staffing challenges nursing professionals face in the care economy.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that nurses make up the largest segment of U.S. healthcare professionals, with nearly 4.2 million registered nurses among them. Despite these numbers, the profession faces significant staffing challenges as the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of 203,200 openings for registered nurses each year through 2031.
Research also shows that adequate staffing is important to 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 will award funding through the Nursing Expansion Grant Program to 25 public-private partnerships in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.
The grants will support innovative partnerships and strategies that expand and diversify America’s pipeline of qualified nursing professionals. Specifically, these grants will increase the number of nursing instructors and educators. They will also support the creation of equitable opportunities for frontline healthcare professionals to advance on a career pathway, and better meet our nation’s need for critical care today and for years to come.
“The grants we’re awarding today recognize the burden so many nurses have shouldered for too long by supporting programs to expand and diversify the workforce,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Brent Parton. “These investments will also help to ensure the nation’s well-being and continue to strengthen our care economy using proven practices and strategies.”
The funding will help grant recipients improve diversity in the healthcare workforce and address the health equity gap in America’s underserved communities by embedding diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility strategies into their programs. By doing so, the programs will ensure people from historically marginalized and underrepresented communities have pathways to good jobs and careers in nursing.
For Alaska, Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage will receive $2,999,913
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