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State awards $580,000 grant to Panola College Nursing Program

State awards $580,000 grant to Panola College Nursing Program
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board awarded a $580,000 grant to
the Panola College Associate Degree Nursing program as part of a statewide
program to alleviate a shortage of nurses in the future. The 84th Texas
Legislature appropriated funds for the Professional Nursing Shortage
Reduction Program as a means to assist nursing programs in filling the
future need for registered nurses in the state’s workforce.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 16 percent growth in the job market
for registered nurses, but demand is outpacing supply. The new Health &
Natural Sciences Building has allowed Panola College to offer
state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratories, and clinical settings.
The demanding curriculum for nursing requires an incredible commitment of
time and resources. Financial constraints coupled with family
responsibilities often make it difficult for students to complete the
two-year course of study. The new grant will offer Panola College
opportunities to identify areas of concern that may be contributing to
students’ lack of persistence in completing the ADN degree.
“We will use the funds to help students stay in the program through
multiple retention activities,” says Dr. Barbara Cordell, Dean of Nursing
and Health Sciences. “Some students need academic assistance to improve
their grades, but others need guidance with finding childcare or budgeting
living expenses so they will have more time to study.”
Dr. Cordell said the college will spend the grant funds in a targeted
approach designed to double the graduation numbers in the ADN program
within the next two years. When that goal is met, the grant will continue
to provide funding for an additional two years.

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