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.

Led by Dr. Eric Bailey, assistant dean for Nursing Students, the project provides financial support up to $9,000 per semester and $18,000 per year 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. 


  • 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

 Application Deadline

Applications due: November 20, 2020

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This publication 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 zero percentage financed with non-governmental 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. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.