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The College of Nursing and Public Health has secured a $458,000 grant to continue funding Adelphi's long-running Nurse Faculty Loan Program.

College of Nursing and Public Health (CNPH) Dean Elaine Smith ’78, MS ’88, EdD, and Patricia Donohue-Porter, MS ’78, PhD ’87, associate professor and director of the PhD program, secured a $458,000 grant in June 2020 to continue Adelphi’s long-running Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP).

Under Dr. Smith, the current NFLP project director, each year the College applies for, and has received, this prestigious grant to fund PhD students who desire to become nursing faculty.

Adelphi has played, and continues to play, a role in building nurse faculty expertise. “Since the grant funding was begun in 2006,” Dr. Smith said, “26 out of 29 PhD-prepared graduates have become nurse faculty and/or deans, and those who are administrators or clinical leaders have also maintained a teaching role.”

A program of the Health Resources and Service Administration (an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), the NFLP provides funding aimed at increasing numbers of qualified nursing faculty members. The program supports doctoral nursing students through loans that can be forgiven up to 85 percent post-graduation if the graduate attains full-time nursing faculty employment.

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program through the Health Resources and Service Administration has supported the PhD in Nursing program at Adelphi’s CNPH for more than a decade. This award was originally established by Professor Jane White, PhD, the College’s former associate dean for research.

The $458,000 grant “is a testament to the quality of our students and their education as well as part of the pivotal support in place for them as they pursue their doctoral degrees,” Dr. Smith said. Dr. Donohue-Porter “works closely with prospective and current students as they progress through the rigorous program,” she added.

The loan program, Dr. Smith said, was “designed to confront the nursing faculty shortage that continues to exist across our nation,” one that is expected to worsen.

“The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) projects a wave of faculty retirements over the next decade, leaving a dire shortage of nursing faculty to prepare the next generation of professionals,” Dr. Smith pointed out.

Besides the vacancies, schools cited the need to create additional faculty positions to accommodate student demand, according to Dr. Smith and Dr. Donohue-Porter. The data showed a national nurse faculty vacancy rate of 7.9 percent. Most of the vacancies (90.7 percent) were faculty positions requiring or preferring a doctoral degree, according to AACN’s “Fact Sheet: Nursing Faculty Shortage, 2019.” The report show “the importance of funding to develop new nurse faculty,” they said.

The NFLP also contributed to CNPH being recognized in 2019 with its second continuous accreditation as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing, Dr. Smith said. “One of the many strengths of the College in supporting this honor,” she explained, “is the education concentration within the PhD program, stemming from the NFLP.” Its role is in “creating environments that advance the science of nursing education.”

As a foundation for scholars hoping to become the nursing faculty of the future, Dr. Smith and Dr. Donohue-Porter said, the College offers a 9-credit concentration in nursing education science in addition to the traditional studies of research, theory and other essential courses related to the PhD in Nursing. This concentration’s three courses are: Evolving Issues in Higher Education, Innovative Pedagogies and Research in Nursing Education.

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