About the RNs LEAD Scholarship Program

Rural Nurses Leading Eldercare Advancement through Diversity (RNs LEAD) project was established thanks to a two-year, $972,435 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 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 for nurses in the care of older adults 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 in West Tennessee and/or have an interest in practicing geriatric nursing.

LCON has a strong record of educating nurse leaders 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 percent disadvantaged. Among these, 62 percent are first generation college students; 31.8 percent are underrepresented minorities; and 35.9 percent of graduates work in medically underserved communities. More than 80 percent 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 (BSN) degree.


Applicants must meet the following criteria for eligibility:

  1. Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited nursing program (full-time or part-time); and
  2. Be a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national of the United States, or a foreign national who possesses a visa permitting permanent residence in the United States.Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible participants and may not receive NWD-E2 grant support.

Priority will be given to eligible applicants that (a) meet guidelines for disadvantaged students; (b) identify as an underrepresented racial/ethnic minority; (c)maintain a permanent residence in the geographic target area including Benton, Carroll, Chester, Decatur, Dyer, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Lauderdale, Madison, McNairy, Obion, Tipton and Weakley counties; and (d) express a strong interest in geriatric nursing.

Application Deadline

October 30, 2020

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For questions, email ckbowles@memphis.edu