Published on June 9, 2020 by Sara Roman  

Samford University’s  Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing has received more than $2 million to help make graduate nursing education more affordable for current nurse educators or practicing nurses committed to careers in nursing education.

Samford’s $2,040,607 Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is the largest in the country and the only award to exceed $2 million. This is Samford’s 18th year to receive funding for the program.

According to Jane Martin, Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing interim dean, additional faculty are needed for nursing schools to increase student capacity. “The Nurse Faculty Loan Program is designed to help address the shortage of nurse educators. Students who receive loans for graduate degree programs can have up to 85 percent of the loan forgiven in exchange for service in a nurse faculty capacity,” she added.

Over the past 18 years, the school has utilized more than $16 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HRSA to prepare more than 500 nurse educators who are shifting the landscape of nurse education while increasing the number of competent, compassionate nurses entering the workforce.

In the past, Samford’s award has only been applicable to students pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice in nursing administration or advanced practice; however, this year, the grant also encompasses students pursuing a degree in Samford’s nurse anesthesia or nurse practitioner programs. This expansion means that students pursuing any graduate level program at Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing are eligible to apply for loan cancellation. Graduates are required to serve as a full-time nurse faculty or an advanced practice registered nurse preceptor in a joint-appointed faculty role with an accredited school of nursing.

“We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to all of our graduate level students,” said Gretchen McDaniel, associate dean for graduate nursing programs. “In addition to perpetuating academic opportunities for our current students, this expansion will also increase the number of highly-qualified educators and preceptors for schools across the country.”

A report published in Journal of Nursing Regulation projects one million registered nurses will retire by 2030, a quarter of the 3.9 million registered nurses in the United States, per the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Yet, the AACN reports, nursing schools turned away more than 75,000 qualified applicants in 2018 due to an insufficient number of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space and clinical providers.

“For nearly two decades Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing has recognized that a major nursing shortage is on the horizon,” said Stephanie Wynn, assistant dean of scholarly activities for Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing and grant project director. “With the aid of the NFLP award, graduates of our program have progressed into positions as instructors, full professors, program directors, department chairs and school of nursing deans. I think this year’s award is a testament to our great work in administering the awards to date and the outstanding commitment of our graduates.”

In 2002, Samford’s Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing was one of the first 55 nursing schools in the nation to receive funding for the NFLP grant. Samford’s inaugural program consisted of just three students. The 2020-21 grant is expected to help more than 167 Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing graduate students from 15 states. 

To apply for admission to Samford graduate programs in nursing, visit our graduate nursing website.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.
Samford University 2020 Annual Report