June 6, 2023
[Washington, DC] – The Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) is pleased to announce member schools from five states have been awarded nursing expansion grants from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration. The multi-million-dollar investment in the nation’s nursing workforce will support innovative partnerships and strategies that expand and diversify America’s pipeline of qualified nursing professionals. The program aims to boost the number of nursing instructors and educators and create more equitable opportunities for healthcare professionals seeking to advance their careers in the nursing profession.
OADN has long advocated for increased federal funding to support the associate degree pathway and community college nursing faculty and students. Community colleges train a nursing student population reflective of the diverse communities they serve and are essential to our nation’s nursing workforce, educating more than half of all newly licensed professional registered nurses (RN) every year. “We applaud this historic investment in associate degree education nursing education by the U.S. Department of Labor and recognize the pivotal role the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), among other OADN partners, had in its inception. This collaborative approach to educate, expand, and diversify our nation’s nursing workforce is an innovative model for the future,” said Rick García, Ph.D., RN, CCM, FAAOHN, FAADN, OADN Chief Executive Officer.
“We are very thankful to the Department of Labor for this grant to support the Alaska Nursing Expansion Initiative through the Alaska Pacific University nursing programs,” said Marianne Murray, DNP, MSN, RN, Director and Professor of Nursing at OADN member school Alaska Pacific University. “With the strategic support and intentional collaboration of our Alaskan healthcare industry partners, we hope to significantly increase the number of nurses in Alaska that are able to provide culturally safe care to fellow Alaskans. This is a critical project that will have a major impact on our Alaskan community, especially rural Alaska.”
Tammy Vant Hul, Ph.D., MSN, RN, ACNP, CNE, Dean of Nursing at OADN member school Riverside City College in Riverside, California, shared “We used the power of established relationships to reach out and get the support we needed for the Department of Labor grant funding. By providing our community partners with recent program outcome data we gained the commitment we needed from those who were not as aware of our programs. It was so validating to have non-nursing community leaders in awe of the historical excellence that our college has worked hard to achieve.”
OADN encourages these types of federal investments in the future to support community college nursing education and agrees with Dr. Vant Hul who noted, “As leaders in Associate Degree education, it is essential we promote our programs, our data, our students, and our graduates who stay and serve in the communities in which they attend school. We must continue to tell our story to aggressively seek and apply for funding opportunities to support our students and programs so that we have the resources we need to continue to produce high quality, safe nurse graduates.” Congratulations on this outstanding achievement of all OADN member school awardees, Alaska Pacific University, Yavapai County Community College District, Riverside Community College District/Riverside City College, Broward College, and Cuyahoga Community College District. Their commitment to advancing excellence in nursing education and addressing workforce diversity will undoubtedly have a profound and positive impact on healthcare delivery within their respective communities.
For more information about the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, please visit ETA | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov) and to read more about the Nursing Expansion Grant Program, please visit nursing-foa-outreach-flyer.pdf (dol.gov)
Representing the over 1,100 associate degree nursing programs across the country, OADN is the national voice and a pivotal resource for community college nursing education and the associate degree pathway. We work to expand networks that promote leadership, collaboration, and advocacy to further enrich nursing education and the communities we serve. Online at www.oadn.org