Nearly $1M UofM Loewenberg College of Nursing HRSA Grant to Fund RNs LEAD Project

August 27, 2020 — The University of Memphis Loewenberg College of Nursing and its dean, Dr. Lin Zhan, have been awarded a two-year, $972,435 grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The grant will establish the Rural Nurses Leading Eldercare Advancement through Diversity (RNs LEAD) project led by Zhan.

RNs LEAD is designed to address the lack of diversity in the nursing workforce, evidenced-based barriers to matriculation encountered by disadvantaged nursing students and limited basic training in the care of older adults for nurses in rural areas. It will focus on the HHS and HRSA’s clinical priority of transforming the workforce by targeting the need.

The grant provides 44 nursing students up to $16,000 in scholarships and living stipends. It will also provide academic and social supports, as well as geriatric clinical immersion experiences, to help them be successful. Priority will be given to disadvantaged nursing students who identify as an underrepresented racial/ethnic minority, reside in one of 18 rural West Tennessee counties and/or have an interest in practicing geriatric nursing.

LCON has a strong record of educating leaders in nursing across the health care continuum and has the largest nursing program in West Tennessee, with more than 800 undergraduate students enrolled across two campuses in urban Shelby County and rural Madison County.

Students are a diverse group with 61.9% disadvantaged. Among these, 62% are first-generation college students, 31.8% are underrepresented minorities and 35.9% of graduates work in medically underserved communities. More than 80% of nursing students on the Lambuth campus originate from neighboring rural counties where they often return after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. For more information, email uofmnursing@memphis.edu.