BROOKINGS – South Dakota State University’s College of Nursing has received Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students, a five-year, $3.25 million grant through the Health Resources and Services Administration aiming to increase the health care workforce diversity in primary care throughout rural communities.
Annually, $650,000 will be used for scholarships for full-time undergraduate students who are enrolled in the nursing major. Scholarships are awarded to students who meet the HRSA guidelines for disadvantaged backgrounds. Full-time undergraduate nursing students attending any of the college’s four sites – Aberdeen, Brookings, Rapid City and Sioux Falls – are eligible.
To apply, students must submit a scholarship application and a letter of interest reporting professional goals and planning to work as a primary care registered nurse in a medically underserved community. Each scholarship recipient will commit to participate in the scholarship program retention activities and acquire a National Provider Identifier number.
Karin Emery, assistant dean, Alham Abuatiq, assistant professor, and Marie Schmit, grants program specialist, applied for the grant.
“We are grateful for the work, collaboration and input from the Lakota/Dakota members. It could not have been done without the efforts of Bev Warne, nurse mentor and coordinator at our Native American Nursing Education Center, and Valeriah Big Eagle, diversity outreach and engagement coordinator, from our Rapid City site and Shana Harming, Wokini and tribal relations director. We offer them a great Pilamaya (thank you),” Emery said.
Emery said the goal is to increase the admission, retention and graduation rates of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Funding will help students pay for college and connect students with additional resources to further support student retention through graduation.