About the STRONG RNs Program

Supporting the Retention of Next Generation Registered Nurses (STRONG-RNs) is a program to help support and retain nursing students from economically and/or disadvantaged backgrounds. It is made possible thanks to a $3.24 million, five-year grant awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This program aligns with Loewenberg College of Nursing's (LCON's), the University of Memphis' (UofM) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's (AACN's) core values of advancing diversity and inclusion to improve the quality of nursing education, prepare the primary care workforce and reduce health disparities locally and globally.

The project provides financial support up to $9,000 per semester to eligible students. Those who participate must be involved in social supports to help insure success in the nursing program. 

STRONG RNs is designed to

  1. increase recruitment of nursing students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including underrepresented racial/ethnic minorities;
  2. improve retention rates of economically and environmentally disadvantaged nursing students to expand distribution, diversity, and supply of the nursing workforce; and
  3. empower nursing graduates to seek practices in primary care and work in medically underserved communities (MUCs).

 The program provides funds to cover tuition and fees and a living stipend that is awarded on a monthly basis. The financial awards are available for Fall and Spring semesters only. 

Participation Requirements

  • Must be a full-time nursing student from an economically and/or educationally disadvantaged background
  • Must have taken the university's TRIO or ACAD and participated in the Academic Success Program
  • Must maintain LCON academic standards to maintain award eligibility


STRONG RNs Program Model

Pre-entrance prep

In order to enter the STRONG RNs program, students must have participated in TRIO/Upward Bound or ACAD courses and the Loewenberg College of Nursing's Academic Success Program. These programs are designed to give students a foundation of support to prepare them for study in the nursing program. 

Financial, Academic and Social Supports

As a student in the program, students are provided with a solid system of supports to promote success in the nursing program. 

Academic supports include Tutoring, TLC and NCLEX preparation help. 

Social supports include peer mentoring and involvement in the Student Nurses' Association. 

Financial supports include scholarships and financial aid. While part of STRONG RNs, students are provided $9,000/semester to cover tuition, books and living stipend.

Professional Development

LCON provides professional development through clinical practice opportunities, career counseling and career fairs.

Strong RNs model in image form


The STRONG RNs project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $648,000 with 0% percentage financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.