The funding for the program, made possible by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will assist students with paying for tuition, fees and books. The Nurse Faculty Loan program will be made available for the fall 2012 semester. Students participating in the program will be eligible to have 85 percent of their low interest loan forgiven after four years of teaching.
The program will help address the state-wide nursing faculty shortage and provide a strong asset to the local healthcare community. A wave of retirements is expected within the next ten years, according to the American Associate of Colleges of Nursing. It is projected that between 220 and 280 master's-prepared nursing faculty will be eligible for retirement between 2012 and 2018. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 580,000 nursing positions will need to be filled by 2018 to maintain high-quality care.
Upon launching Mount Mercy’s Master of Science in Nursing program in the fall of 2010, the institution has continued to see growth in enrollment and make enhancements to its program offerings. With the addition of the Nurse Faculty Loan program, Mount Mercy continues to build upon its already strong reputation of offering competitive programs to meet the needs of the surrounding community.
“The HRSA Faculty Loan program will assist many students to become active, contributing participants in nursing education for the future,” says Department of Nursing Chair Dr. Mary Tarbox. “The critical shortage of faculty in nursing education is based on many factors including age, retirement, workload and salary. In collaboration with education and practice partners, Mount Mercy’s MSN program is preparing nursing faculty for the future with attention to these issues.”