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Federal Grant Will Assist U of M’s Loewenberg School’s Unique Nurse Executive Program University News
For release: August 13, 2010

For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843


Dr. Joan Thomas
Dr. Joan Thomas
Dr. Joan Thomas, associate professor in the University of Memphis’ Loewenberg School of Nursing, has received a grant of $787,696 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to prepare future nurse executives. The three-year award is one of the largest HRSA grants ever received at the U of M.

The grant will benefit the Loewenberg School’s innovative Executive Master of Science in Nursing program. Specific purposes of this project are to educate a diverse nursing leadership workforce from minority, educationally disadvantaged, and economically disadvantaged backgrounds; assure quality of care by improving the knowledge, skills, competencies, and outcomes of the nursing leadership workforce; and support the objectives of Healthy People 2010 by assisting students to achieve American Organization of Nurse Executive (AONE) competencies related to clinical practice knowledge in the course “Improving Patient Care Delivery.”

The two-year Executive MSN program, which was developed at the University of Memphis, is designed to fill current and projected gaps in the number of qualified nurse executives in local, regional, and national markets. The expanded program, which requires two courses per semester, will enroll 30 participating nurses each year. The program is designed to meet the need of nurses who are currently in management positions and want to become nurse executives. The curriculum includes online teaching modules as well as on-site sessions at the beginning and end of each semester.

This pioneering program was the first and only nursing graduate program selected as an educational partner of the American Nurses Credentialing Center Magnet Recognition Program. In addition, the Journal of Nursing Administration has published a three-part series about the program and its state-of-the-art curriculum.  The University admitted its first cohort of students into the program in 2008.

“Dr. Thomas has showcased her concerted efforts to address a national shortage of minority nurse leaders,” said Dr. Lin Zhan, the recently-named dean of the Loewenberg School. “With the support of the HRSA grant, our Executive MSN program will reach a higher level of excellence by educating a diverse nursing leadership workforce to meet local, regional, and national needs.”

HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable.

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