Immediate: August 5, 2013
Alicia Steger 516.572.9634
Nassau Community College Awarded $1 Million
to Increase Opportunities in Nursing
Garden City, NY – Nassau Community College’s program for Nursing Workforce Diversity (NCCNWD) has been awarded $1.045 million by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase educational opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities that are underrepresented in the nursing profession.
In seeking this federal funding, NCC highlighted the fact that the Long Island region is currently experiencing workforce shortages in the nursing field at the same time that there is an increasing demand for those services as the region’s population ages. NCC further noted that the significant under-representation in the workforce of nurses from diverse backgrounds has been linked to health disparities because individuals from different ethnic and racial backgrounds tend to seek care from professionals with similar backgrounds.
Working in partnership with several middle and high schools, NCC will achieve the goals of this grant though a multipronged approach. These steps will include providing career information and counseling services in the middle and high schools to assist in creating a pipeline of students interested in nursing and other health related careers. NCC staff will collaborate with high school teachers and school district coordinators in providing potential nursing students with information regarding the academic preparation required to be a nurse, the entry level salaries of nurses, and the nursing job market in order to ensure that counselors are able to provide students with accurate information and effective encouragement. “I’m very excited, because the services we’ll be able to provide as a result of this grant will both bring more nurses to Long Island and offer qualified students a choice they might otherwise not have considered,” said Dr. Carmelle Bellefleur, Project Director of the program. She added that the NCC Nursing Department works in partnership with such hospitals as North Shore-LIJ Health System, Winthrop University Hospital and South Nassau Communities Hospital.
According to Dr. Kenneth Saunders, Acting President of Nassau Community College, “In many respects, this grant is exactly what NCC is all about. It will provide the resources to enhance our outreach to the community and promote the goal of increasing educational opportunities for students. In addition, it will advance the objective of improving the quality of life of Nassau County’s residents.”
The grant will also provide funds for a mentoring initiative designed to increase the retention rate of disadvantaged students already in the nursing program and as well as funds to foster the development of “cultural competency,” whereby students will become more aware of the social, cultural, political and economic realities of the range of communities that they will be serving upon graduation. Stipends and scholarships will also be available through the grant, which are particularly important in making their participation in NCC’s nursing program more affordable.
About Nassau Community College
Nassau Community College, a division of the State University of New York, is an institution where nearly 23,000 full- and part-time students and almost 15,000 continuing and professional students start and continue their successful journey through higher education. More than 70 fields of study are offered on a 225-acre campus located in the center of Long Island. As the largest single-campus two-year college in New York State, Nassau Community College maintains a national reputation for excellence.