Modification published on 01/30/2015
Modified February 21, 2013 – Update to Summary of Funding, page 3.
This announcement solicits applications for the Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) Program. NWD grants are awarded to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds (including racial and ethnic minorities under-represented among registered nurses) by providing (1) student scholarships or stipends for diploma or associate degree nurses to enter a bridge or degree completion program, and (2) student scholarships or stipends for accelerated nursing degree programs, pre-entry preparation, advanced education preparation, and retention activities.
The goals of the NWD program and the purposes of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) are consistent with the statutory authority provided in Title VIII to support projects that assist underrepresented students throughout the educational pipeline to become registered nurses, facilitate diploma or associate degree registered nurses becoming baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses, and prepare practicing registered nurses for advanced nursing education.
For FY 2013, the Division of Nursing will solicit three-year grants that support innovative efforts by schools of nursing to recruit, retain, and graduate disadvantaged students. Disadvantaged populations for this award include: racial and ethnic minorities and individuals who are educationally and economically disadvantaged.
This FOA solicits applications that propose evidence-based, multi-level partnership models, approaches, and/or strategies, that incorporate the social determinants of health framework into the design, implementation, and evaluation of scholarship, loan, and pre-entry/mentoring programs including those that support progression through professional nursing, such as Associates Degree (AD) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) /nurse residency programs. The nursing workforce diversity literature is replete with data to suggest that financial and interpersonal levers such as scholarships, loans, and mentoring are necessary, but not wholly sufficient, to recruit, retain, and graduate underrepresented populations into schools of nursing. Therefore, projects must propose innovative ways to consider multi-level approaches that utilize the social determinants of health, ,  to frame its scholarship, stipend, and pre-entry/mentoring activities.
Proposed projects should extend beyond individual-level interventions (scholarships, stipends, and pre-entry/mentoring activities) and address the larger social and structural forces that impede efforts to diversify the nursing workforce, increase access to quality care, reduce health disparities, and improve health equity. For example, Johnson and Bozeman describe an Asset Bundles model that targets critical areas in which minority students may need additional support to continue toward careers in science. The asset bundles articulate relevant factors that impact educational retention and achievement – educational endowments, science socialization, network development, family expectations, and material resources. A second program at the University of Illinois at Chicago – the Urban Health Program – developed an innovative and comprehensive strategy to recruit, retain, and graduate minority students interested in health care careers, and to provide precollege educational and research experiences for underrepresented minority populations in elementary and secondary public schools. The Urban Health Program evolved from a community action model and was an institutional response to a demand from the local community for early outreach and academic pipeline initiatives targeted to local minority students. The success of the Urban Health Program model is partly attributed to changes in the University culture and the University leadership’s commitment to diversity within the University of Illinois at Chicago.