Governor Nixon Announces Grant for MU Nursing School

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COLUMBIA - Governor Jay Nixon announced Thursday that the University of Missouri's Sinclair School of Nursing received a $150,000 grant for the second year in a row.

The grant comes from the Nursing Education Incentive Program, part of Nixon's Caring for Missourian's initiative which began in 2009.  The $1 million program can provide up to $150,000 per university per year, with multiple schools able to receive grants. The money is aimed to help hire new staff, buy new equiment and offer scholarships.

The program hopes to increase nursing education to fill job vacancies in Missouri.  According to the Missouri Hospital Association, there was a 3.7 percent job vacancy for registered nurses in Missouri in 20-11.   In the overall health care field, they said there was a 2.3 percent job vacancy. 

The grants began in 2012, and MU received $149,540 for that year.  This years money will go toward the 2013 school year and the program is slated to give out another set of grants in 2014.

The money from the first grant helped to fund the schools simulation lab.  The "Baby Sim" lab provides lifelike mannequins for nursing students to learn on.  These mannequins can give a heartbeat and simulate the bodily functions of a real baby or child.

This years grant is being focused toward scholarship money for doctoral students coming to Mizzou.  This year's application for the grant also stated that funding would be used in recruiting students in diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds.

"The nursing profession is in great need in having our members in the profession to reflect more of what society looks like," Deidre Wipke-Tevis, director of the nursing PhD progam. 

MU says that 88 percent of bachelors graduates from the school stay in Missouri to work.