The Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) at Illinois State University is the recipient of a grant of more than $1.1 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support developing diversity in the nursing workforce.
The three-year Nursing Workforce Diversity grant, distributed through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), will allow $370,000 each year toward recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups to the nursing profession, as well as leadership development throughout the educational experience.
“The grant will support the infrastructure necessary to ensure that MCN can help to prepare the workforce needed for the future,” said Dean of the Mennonite College of the Nursing Janet Krejci. “Currently, the healthcare workforce does not mirror the population.” According to data from the 2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses, nurses from minority backgrounds represented 16.8 percent of the registered nurse workforce.
The grant will ensure scholarships and programming that will positively impact the entire College of Nursing as well as MCN’s partners in the community. Krejci pointed to community outreach to area schools, working with mentoring programs at area hospitals and providing academic support structures.
“MCN has a very unique program because of the amazing expert faculty who are tirelessly committed to student success. As healthcare continues to increase in complexity, our program will meet the changes,” said Krejci.
The purpose of the HRSA’s Nursing Workforce Diversity grants are to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities that are underrepresented among registered nurses.