The Arkansas Department of Commerce announces $20 million to expand nursing education

Mountain Home, AR. – On May 13, 2024, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Secretary Hugh McDonald and Arkansas Workforce Connection Director Cody Waits announced more than $20 million in training grants to colleges to expand nursing programs. The Arkansas Linking Industry to Growing Nurses (ALIGN) program and the Arkansas Office of Skills Development (OSD) awarded $20.4 million to 19 two- to four-year colleges and universities in Arkansas.

One of the honored colleges is Arkansas State University Mountain Home. They received $625,175 to expand their simulation laboratory experience by standardizing clinical care practices. Its goal is to increase LPN and RN enrollment capacity at ASUMH, continually recruit and retain clinical nurse educators, and reduce the time it takes for graduates to integrate into hospital operations. Baxter Health contributed to the scholarship, meaning students who enroll as future nurses at Baxter Health will be supported by scholarships and additional funding to cover personal expenses from Baxter Health.

To achieve the goals of their new program, ASUMH will hire a Clinical Nursing Educator who will oversee all aspects of the LPN and RN pre-residency programs and will be housed at Baxter Health, as well as a Clinical Nursing Coordinator who will oversee clinical planning , Recruitment, and Retention of Clinical Nursing Educators, White Coat Program, and Student Nursing Education for the Apprenticeship Program.

The grant will also provide additional simulation equipment for use on the ASUMH campus and Baxter Heath. An Apollo manikin, an Aria manikin and a Learning Space Technology medical trainer were provided to Baxter Health. ASUMH was provided with a Laerdal SimBaby, a Laerdal SimJunior and a Nursing Kelly Manikin.

ALIGN funding awards
applicant Premium amount
Arkansas State University $2,598,396.00
ASU – Bergheim $625,175.00
Arkansas Tech University $327,208.00
Baptist Health Foundation $1,944,608.00
Henderson State University $761,200.00
Jefferson Hospital Association $420,800.00
John Brown University $328,250.00
NorthWest Arkansas Community College $2,110,901.58
Ouachita Baptist University $487,000.00
Philander Smith University $396,857.13
University of Arkansas Eleanor Mann School of Nursing $1,198,353.00

University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville (UACCB) $368,614.26

University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton (UACCM) $2,024,546.00

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith $2,033,375.00
University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Nursing $969,200.00
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences $1,679,566.07
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff $1,004,000.00
University of Arkansas Rich Mountain $645,850.00
University of Central Arkansas School of Nursing $476,100.00
IN TOTAL $20,400,000.04

Wood & Huston

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