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SLU Receives Grant to Provide Scholarships, Mentoring for Disadvantaged Nursing Students


Saint Louis University School of Nursing will receive $1.5 million in federal funds over the next four years to support disadvantaged students by providing them student mentors, faculty mentors and pre-entry work experiences.

The HRSA nursing workforce diversity grant will help SLU’s School of Nursing increase the recruitment, enrollment, retention and graduation of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially for students who are African American or Hispanic/Latino. Both groups are underrepresented in nursing education.

School of Nursing Grant

School of Nursing students and mentors pictured, from left, include project coordinator Krista Simmons; students Alyssa Bautista, Ellen Cain, Mackenzie Rodriquez, Natalie Hassett, Allison Harris, Joycelyn Adjei, Mark Cable, Emily Jazbani, Maya Bauer and Manuel Jimenez; program manager Nicole Wiethop; mentor Shearon Holmes; and Teri Murray, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing. Submitted Photo.

The grant funding will aid 40 students (10 each year).

“These funds will help increase diversity within SLU School of Nursing,” said Teri Murray, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing. “The racially diverse students, from populations currently underrepresented in nursing, will be paired with peer mentors, faculty mentors and seasoned nurse mentors who are out working in the field.”

The peer mentors are upper-division nursing students who can assist the incoming students as they navigate academic life and nursing school. SLU is also partnering with SSM Health, the Black Nurses of Association of Greater St. Louis and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses to identify professional mentors for students in the target group.

“By providing a cadre of mentors we hope to provide Hispanic and African-American students with leaders that can help them navigate nursing school and clinical experiences,” Murray said.

The freshman and sophomore students will receive stipends, which include $5,000 for tuition, books and fees assistance, a $200 monthly stipend toward food/housing and a monthly Metro transportation pass, as needed.

The program also includes the University 101 program to prepare students for college life and a dedicated retention specialist.

In 2016, Saint Louis University was awarded $2.1 million in federal funds for scholarships to nursing students who come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The 2016 proposal awarded scholarships to 10 freshmen and 10 sophomore nursing students for the 2016-17 academic year.

Those awarded scholarships demonstrated financial need and included students who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups. Selected by the school’s scholarship committee, these students will be mentored and supported during their time at SLU to ensure their academic success.

Part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are geographically isolated and economically or medically vulnerable. It achieves its goal in part by strengthening the skills and diversity of the health work force and expanding the ability of health providers to see patients in underserved areas.

Founded in 1928, Saint Louis University School of Nursing has achieved a national reputation for its innovative and pioneering programs. Offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral nursing programs, its faculty members are nationally recognized for their teaching, research and clinical expertise.