The Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State got a nearly $700,000 grant recently. (Photo By B Corbin/WJBC)
By Paul Morello
NORMAL - A two-year grant is helping pay for tuition, fees and stipends for Illinois State University nursing graduate students in the Family Nurse Practitioner program.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant is worth nearly $700,000. Denise Wilson, ISU nursing professor and FNP sequence leader, said Tuesday only 65 schools nationwide were awarded funds.
"Our project deals with trying to get students through the program in an expeditious way so that hopefully they can be full-time students so they can move through quicker and get out into the workforce," she said.
Wilson said nurse practitioners can handle about 85 percent of the types of patients physicians see. Illinois State's FNP program is two years full-time, three years part-time.
This year, grant funding was much more limited, Wilson said.
"Instead of (anyone who applied) automatically getting money, it became a competitive grant," she said. "So, the Department of Health and Human Services is putting out more money per grant, but that also decreased the number of grants they could give."
About 60 students are in the Family Nurse Practitioner program, and some of the grant money will go towards reaching out to potential students.
"The number of nurse practitioners that are going to be needed is expanding all the time because of health care reform," Wilson said.