UMass, Elms College Receive Grant for Nursing Education Program

AMHERST — UMass Amherst and Elms College in Chicopee have been awarded a grant of $24,948 from the Mass. Board of Higher Education to encourage top honors students early in their nursing education to pursue an academic career.

The initiative is designed to increase the number of nursing professors, now in short supply.

“Increasing the Pipeline to Ph.D. Education” will support five teams of faculty and students from each college (10 total) in the conduct of clinical projects and research. Honors students will be identified in their sophomore or junior years, matched with faculty mentors, and conduct honors work during the 2006-2008 academic years. They will work as research assistants for the first year to develop research skills and then undertake honors projects and research during the second year.

The students will be eligible for direct admission to the UMass doctoral program upon completion of the bachelor’s degree.

“In response to the recommendations of the American Assoc. of Colleges of Nursing, Elms College and UMass Amherst have developed this partnership to address a shortage in the professional ranks,” said Eileen Breslin, dean of the School of Nursing at UMass Amhest. “This is vital to the success of future nursing education.”

Said Elms President James Mullen, “this is a unique public-private partnership between two distinguished programs that will offer much-needed opportunities for nursing students. Most important, it will enhance the quality of health care in our region by addressing the critical need for nursing faculty.”