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UB School of Nursing Gets $1.47 Million to Educate More Future PhDs

Release Date: September 2, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Nursing faculty are in short supply nationally and this shortage is directly linked to the inability of schools of nursing to prepare enough entry level and advanced practice nurses to meet demands.

The University at Buffalo School of Nursing has received a $1.47 million Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant to fund a program over the next three years that helps maximize the capacity to educate future PhD nurse faculty.

"Our goal is to increase the availability and diversity of future nurse faculty, especially in New York State, which includes 170 health provider shortage areas in need of nurses," said Suzanne Dickerson, associate professor of nursing and author of the grant.

UB's School of Nursing is one of only two public PhD programs in the SUNY system of 64 campuses. This limits access to nurse PhD education for many living too far from either of these universities and also for those who need to maintain employment while pursuing their doctoral degrees.

The new program will combine a traditional onsite and distance-learning approach to education using the Community of Inquiry Model, which will increase access to low-cost PhD education for qualified nurses. Since the UB School of Nursing has extensive past experience with delivering distance education programs to graduate students, it is in an excellent position to expand access to its PhD program.

The focus of the program, which will begin in January 2011, will be to increase the supply of nurse PhDs and also to expand the diversity among them. One of the project's other key objectives is to increase doctoral students' research emphasis on clinical nursing outcomes related to health disparities that are often associated with income and ethnicity.

"We're planning for a long-term result of expanded enrollment, as well as potential nursing research that benefits underserved populations," said Dickerson.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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