Grant encourages nurses to pursue advanced degrees


November 28th, 2010

Iowa Student Loan (ISL) recently announced that it will offer grants of $4,000 per year to individuals who are pursuing advanced nursing degrees, The Des Moines Register reports.

This move by ISL, a private company that provides college loans, comes as officials in the field of nursing predict a shortage of workers in their industry. In Iowa, the recession has delayed retirement among many middle aged professionals. However, as the national economy improves, experts anticipate that older nurses will choose to retire.

As hospitals, clinics and nursing homes increase hiring, a lack of college instructors who can prepare new hires for the workforce is expected to become a major problem. This financial aid to students may help combat the shortage.

“If there are no teachers, there will be no students, which means less nurses to take care of all of us,” says Virginia Wangerin, president of the Iowa Nurses Association.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, a shortage in school faculty is forcing many institutions to turn away qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate programs.

ISL is committed to spending $125,000 per year on their grant program, but the money is said to cover only a small fraction of the master’s or doctoral nursing program.

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