McNeese State University has received a $1.45 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor through the Workforce Opportunity for Rural Communities initiative in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). Awarded specifically to the College of Nursing and Health Professions, the grant will be used to focus on increasing enrollment in the RN-to-BSN program.
“The purpose of this grant is to provide job training that will improve employment in underserved areas,” explains Becky Riley, assistant professor of nursing and coordinator of the RN-to-BSN program. “Louisiana has 56 parishes, roughly 83% of the state, that qualify as a DRA parish.”
The grant provides tuition assistance for the RN-to-BSN program. To qualify, potential students must currently hold an associate of nursing degree or diploma, be licensed as an RN in Louisiana and reside in one of the 56 DRA parishes.
McNeese’s RN-to-BSN program is offered fully online and is designed for registered nurses already in the workforce. The nationally accredited program is one of the most affordable in the region, can be completed in as little as 10 months and offers hands-on simulation training that prepares nurses for the variety of community and public health crises they encounter, according to Riley.
“This is an exciting opportunity for registered nurses in these communities to further their education completely online, while also brining a new level of care to their communities,” says Riley. “From complex patient care like the coronavirus pandemic to telehealth and technology, these nurses will truly change the health care services in these rural areas.” For more information on the RN-to-BSN program or grant qualifications, visit onlinenursing.mcneese.edu/.