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WSU Receives Federal Grant To Address Nursing Shortage

A WSU nursing student practices on a dummy patient. WSU's School of Nursing has received a federal grant that will assist 16 graduate nursing students attend school.

Some nursing students at Wichita State University are getting help paying for their education in exchange for setting up a practice in an under-served area of Kansas.

Wichita State’s School of Nursing received a $348,267 dollar federal grant to help get more primary care nurse practitioners into practice.

Alicia Huckstadt, professor and director of graduate program in the WSU School of Nursing, says the grant will pay for 16 students for the entire year beginning this fall.

"The funds are used to help fund their education so they can concentrate on education and get out in workforce a little bit more rapidly," she says.

Huckstadt says many areas of Kansas are facing a health professional and nursing shortage. She says some rural communities do not have any health providers available.

The students are in the advanced nurse training program and are looking to work in family health and mental health in under-served areas.

"It helps not only the students, but health care for the entire state," Huckstadt says.

Once the join the workforce, nurse practitioners work in collaboration with a physician.

The grant is from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Huckstadt says in recent years, grants have increased in amounts and have become increasingly competitive.

The WSU nursing program has received more than $2 million in grants during the past decade to help educate nursing students.

In addition to a general nursing shortage, Kansas is also facing a shortage of nursing educators.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.