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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Invests in Nursing Degree Seekers



By Catherine Groux
Posted September 13, 2012 10:00 AM

The HSS recently awarded grants to bolster the healthcare workforce.
The HSS recently awarded grants to bolster the healthcare workforce.
Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently announced $58.7 million in grants to bolster the size of the healthcare workforce and ensure these professionals have the proper training, a press release states.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost all sectors of the healthcare industry are growing at an extremely rapid pace. The number of registered nursing jobs, for example, is projected to increase by 26% through 2020. Even at this rate, many observers think there will be a shortage of nurses in the future.

To prevent this from occurring, Sebelius said the department will invest $30.2 million in nursing workforce development. Specifically, this portion of the grants will allow select nursing schools to offer students partial loan forgiveness when they graduate if they work as full-time nursing faculty. Additionally, the funds will help nursing schools recruit students from disadvantaged backgrounds and give their degree seekers access to anesthetist training.

The remaining grants will be used to support interdisciplinary and geriatric education as well as dentistry programs.

This is not the first time the HHS has awarded sizable grants to bolster the healthcare workforce, specifically nursing. In July 2011, the department announced that it would give $71.3 million to bolster nursing training, increase diversity in the field and educate more nursing faculty members, according to a press release.

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