An Adelphi nursing student wearing a face-mask and working at a computer.

An insufficient number of faculty was the top reason that more than 80,000 qualified applicants to U.S. undergraduate and graduate nursing programs were turned away in 2019, according to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) report. This lack of nurse educators, in turn, is leading to a nationwide shortage of nurses that has potentially dire consequences for healthcare—particularly in the midst of an ongoing pandemic.

Adelphi’s College of Nursing and Public Health (CNPH) has received a $423,000 Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) grant for the current academic year. The one-year award is structured to increase the numbers of the nation’s qualified nurse educators, the ranks of which are consistently shrinking, in large part due to retiring faculty.

Supporting Doctoral Nursing Students

For more than a decade, the prestigious award from HRSA—a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency—has supported the CNPH PhD in Nursing program by providing loans to doctoral students wishing to pursue careers as nurse faculty. After a student gains a full-time postgraduate job as a nursing faculty member, HRSA will forgive up to 85 percent—plus interest—of the loan.

“The grant serves almost all of our students in their quest to become nurse faculty members,” said Patricia Donohue-Porter, MS ’78, PhD ’87, professor and director of the PhD in Nursing program. “This year, the award will enable 28 students to continue to progress over the three years of intense coursework and several years of dissertation guidance and research needed to complete their degrees and join the 32 CNPH students who earned their doctorates and are now teaching future nurses at schools across the tristate area.”

A Nursing Science Education Concentration

Dr. Donohue-Porter added, “The award continues to reflect the high quality and rigor of our PhD program that not only results in a PhD in theory and research for our students but also offers them a concentration on doctoral nursing education science that prepares them for their faculty role.”

It also reflects the ongoing and dedicated support of Elaine Smith ’78, MS ’88, EdD, CNPH dean and project director.

The 9-credit concentration in nursing education science includes courses such as Evolving Issues in Higher Education, Innovative Pedagogies and Research in Nursing Education. These courses complement the program’s traditional curricular offerings.

The NFLP is also reputation building. It’s a factor in the National League for Nursing’s recognition of CNPH as one of just 10 U.S. nursing programs for its excellence in nursing and for its ranking among U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Graduate Schools for Nursing.

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