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Grants Support Nursing Future At ISU

Esther Max
Flicker via Creative Commons
The Mennonite College of Nursing will tackle the issue of diversity in nursing.

A pair of grants will allow Illinois State University's Mennonite College of Nursing to address the diversity of the nursing workforce and help nurses find a place where they are most needed.

There's a lack of diversity in nursing nationwide, and ISU's Mennonite College of Nursing aims to rectify that situation. The college was recently awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to focus on developing diversity in the nursing workforce.

Judy Neubrander, dean of the Mennonite College of Nursing, said she says having a racially diverse nursing workforce is a plus for patients.

Credit Laura Kennedy / WGLT
ISU's Mennonite College of Nursing Dean Judy Neubrander is excited about the possibilities presented by the two grants.

“We wanted to find ways to increase diversity because there’s very clear research that demonstrates that patients that are cared for by people who look like them and come from a culture that they come from do better, they get well better. So the way that we can help with that is to increase diversity within the College of Nursing," Neubrander said.

The college was also recently awarded a $1.4 million grant to help prepare students enrolled in the family nurse practitioner program to work in rural and underserved areas of the country. Neubrander says the millennial nursing students have shown a real need to serve those less fortunate and have demonstrated a desire to reach out to underserved patients.

“They really want to reach out, and we tap into that with those students and tell them that this is where they can make a difference with those patients. It’s not the glamour, it’s not going to be the big paycheck, but you’re making a difference, and that’s an appeal for sure.”

You can listen to the full interview with Neubrander below:

The full interview with GLT's Laura Kennedy and the Mennonite College of Nursing dean.

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.