SONHS Receives $3.25 Million Grant from HRSA

SONHS Receives $3.25 Million Grant from HRSA

By SONHSNews

SONHS Receives $3.25 Million Grant from HRSA

By SONHSNews
The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) is proud to announce that it has received a $3,250,000 competitive grant award renewal from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to increase diversity in the master’s prepared nursing workforce.

The five-year funding (2020-2025) will provide critically needed tuition support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups, seeking to join the master’s degree-prepared nursing workforce. The HRSA grant will support scholarships for full-time students in the Master of Science in Nursing degree program. The award is a competitive renewal of a $2.5 million HRSA grant received in 2016.

“The financial challenges presented when pursuing advanced-level nursing education are insurmountable for many full-time students, forcing them to either abandon their goal of nurse practitioner (NP) training or drop to part-time status so they can continue working to earn an income,” says Dr. Johis Ortega, principal investigator of the funded project and associate dean for Hemispheric and Global Initiatives at SONHS. “These obstacles are more prevalent in minority student populations, who are the students we need to retain if we are going to diversify the nursing workforce. The HRSA award will significantly relieve that burden, accelerate graduation rates, increase the number of nurse practitioners from disparity populations, and help meet the growing need for primary care providers in Miami-Dade County.” 

The number of applicants to SONHS’ Family Nurse Practitioner and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP programs has increased over the past five years, while the advent of health care reform and primary care physician shortages are straining an already-taxed primary care system. This nationwide crisis is acutely felt in Miami-Dade County, where parts of the county face limited access to primary care services and the uninsured rate ranks well above the national average. 

"As fortunate as we are to live in a richly multicultural region, we know the burden of chronic diseases and their associated risk factors are greater for minorities," says SONHS Dean Cindy L. Munro. "At a time when COVID-19 and widespread calls for social justice in the United States are underscoring the impacts of racial and ethnic disparities, this renewed HRSA support will be critical in helping us continue to prepare advanced practice nurses, many from minority groups themselves, to promote equity in medically underserved communities and address serious health disparity gaps across Miami-Dade County and our nation."

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number T08HP30147, “Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students,” for $3,250,000.