KCON grant will increase diversity among nursing students

The Kirkhof College of Nursing received a federal grant to increase diversity among students.
The Kirkhof College of Nursing received a federal grant to increase diversity among students.
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Kirkhof College of Nursing received a $773,837 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase diversity among nursing students.

Elaine Van Doren, associate dean for KCON undergraduate programs and principal investigator, said the grant will be used to follow state and national nursing mandates to increase diversity within the nation’s nursing ranks. Roughly 12 percent of working nurses are from diverse backgrounds.

Van Doren said the grant will be specifically used to help increase diversity within KCON’s RN-BSN program, in which working nurses enroll to receive a bachelor’s degree. "We know we need more nurses who are in the health care environment with bachelor's degrees. With this grant, we will support nurses who are striving to improve their education," Van Doren said.

Grand Valley will partner with area community colleges that offer associate's degrees in nursing to recruit candidates into the KCON program. Beginning in the winter 2011 semester, the grant will provide up to 20 scholarships and 20 stipends a year to students from diverse education, economic or racial backgrounds.

Along with pre-admissions workshops, the grant allows for more educational opportunities to expand intercultural understanding among current nursing students and faculty members, and creates opportunities for KCON faculty to co-teach introductory courses with faculty from community colleges.