Regis received $9,000 for its Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students and $270K for its Nurse Faculty Loan Program. "In both cases these funds supported students toward tuition expenses that might have otherwise been a barrier to program enrollment or progression," says Dr. Toni Hayes, the director of Regis' nursing program.
An additional four students were able to participate in the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program thanks to the stimulus award. For those students, the scholarship makes all the difference because, as Hayes explains, many of the students in the nursing program need to subsidize their tuition with work but in the junior year of the program, there is no time. "It really helps make a difference in their need to work in junior year," says Hayes. "In junior year they go from zero to 60 in terms of courses and clinical experience. This takes the pressure off them."
Hayes notes that many of the students in the program are from disadvantaged backgrounds and are often the first generation in their families to go to college.
Five graduate and doctoral nursing students were helped by stimulus in the nurse faculty loan program. This loan program is designed to relieve the nursing faculty shortage - Hayes calls the shortage "severe" -- by forgiving 85 percent of the loans of those recipients who teach full time for four years after they graduate. "Nursing faculty are paid less so it's been hard to get nurses to go into teaching," says Hayes. "What this program has done is open the door to people who might not have been able to consider teaching. It gives them the financial relief they need to teach. It's a huge help."