May 19, 2023

$78M Department of Labor award aims to strengthen, diversity nursing workforce

Editor's Note

Last week on May 11, the US Department of Labor announced more than $78 million in grants to 25 public-private partnerships to "support workforce training programs in 17 states and address staffing challenges nursing professionals face in the care economy," the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL) reports.

The grants aim to:

  • increase the number of nursing instructors and educators
  • improve the diversity of the healthcare workforce
  • support the creation of equitable opportunities for frontline healthcare professionals.

Sanford Health, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, received a $3 million grant to "create a more sustainable nursing workforce in the rural upper Midwest," which the health system plans to use for several initiatives, including "improving first-year retention for new nurses and increasing the number of nurses in the RN career" path, AONL noted.

According to the department's press release, the funding will be awarded by the department's Employment and Training Administration through the Nursing Expansion Grant Program. The 25 public-private partnerships to receive the grants are in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that nurses make up the largest segment of  healthcare professionals in the US, including nearly 4.2 million RNs. Despite these numbers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an average of 203,200 openings for RNs each year through 2031, noted the press release.

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