August 02, 2017 12:00AM
The two year grant, known as the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program, supports innovative academic-practice partnerships that prepare students to become primary care practitioners in rural and underserved settings.
The grant will be used to help qualified students in Pittsburg State’s BSN-DNP program fully cover the cost of their education.
“This is monumental for our students and our program,” said Cheryl Giefer, director of the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing. “It’s actually a two-part grant. It will provide funding for faculty, equipment and program development but, more importantly, it will cover tuition and expenses for many of our BSN-DNP students.”
One of the DNP students who’ll benefit from the grant is Jordan Howard. A father of three young children, Howard is currently working the overnight shift as an Emergency Room nurse at Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg.
“It’s (receiving the grant) a huge weight off of my shoulders,” Howard said. “I won’t have to struggle financially through school, and I’ll have more time for my studies. That’s a big thing, especially having three kids and a fourth on the way.”
Howard, who earned his BSN degree from Pittsburg State, credits faculty member Amy Hite with inspiring him to pursue his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
“I’ve actually worked with Dr. Hite in the ER,” Howard said. “As we talked about career choices, I mentioned how I’ve always been interested in teaching but don’t want to stop practicing. She motivated me to go back to school and earn my DNP because it would allow me to do both.”
The flexibility of the DNP degree is one of the primary reasons Pittsburg State’s newest program has become so popular.
“It gives them (students) so many more opportunities,” Giefer said. “As a graduate, you can practice at the boundaries of nursing. If they enjoy being a nurse, they’ll really enjoy practicing as a nurse practitioner.”
As for Howard, his future plans align perfectly with the ANEW program’s goal of serving medically underserved and rural settings.
“I grew up in this area,” Howard said. “It’s given me so much. I want to give back by providing those who are less fortunate with the best patient care and the best evidence-based practice possible. ”
Learn more about Pittsburg State’s degree programs and faculty by visiting the Irene Ransom Bradley School of Nursing’s website.