LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

LSU Health New Orleans nursing school awarded financial aid for students

LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing has been awarded a total of $2.2 million over four years by the Health Resources and Services Administration to help qualified Nurse Anesthesia and Family Nurse Practitioner students with school and living expenses. The funding is being distributed through three mechanisms – the Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship, the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship, and the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Program.

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The $1.8 million Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program is being funded for four years at $450,000 per year. This program provides a minimum of half of the annual tuition for a Nurse Anesthesia or Family Nurse Practitioner student. The program is expected to provide approximately 45 second and third-year students a minimum of $10,000 each year. Students must show a financial need for the scholarship, provide documentation of having a disadvantaged background and be enrolled full time. A disadvantaged background can be defined in a number of ways, to include economically disadvantaged or educationally disadvantaged.
“Although we have provided traineeships for the last several years, the Scholarship program is new to the School of Nursing,” said Dr. Laura Bonanno, Project Director for the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Program and Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship as well as Program Director for the Nurse Anesthesia Program. “Being able to provide a minimum of half of their tuition to eligible students comes at a time of increasing tuition costs as well the implementation of our Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The academic rigor and clinical requirements mandated by this degree do not allow students to work while in school. This assistance will greatly help those students remain in school and complete their degrees on schedule.”
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Both the Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship and the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship provide general living expenses stipends to qualifying students for the 2016-17 academic year. The amount of the stipend is determined by the number of students who apply and their enrollment status. Nurse Anesthesia students must be full-time and Family Nurse Practitioner students must be enrolled full-time if more than twelve months from graduation, or part time if less than twelve months from graduation. All students who apply and meet the enrollment status receive some level of support from their respective traineeship program.

“The goal of all three programs is to graduate students who will work in either medically underserved or rural areas,” notes Dr. Demetrius Porche, Dean of the LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing. “The majority of graduates of these programs remain in Louisiana to work, and this financial assistance will help us continue to supply the nurses who take care of Louisianians.”

“Of our 31 graduates in 2015, 29 remained in Louisiana,” adds Dr. Scharalda Jeanfreau, Project Director for the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship and Program Director for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. “Eleven of those graduates are working in medically underserved or rural communities. With the implementation of these programs for our students, we can only expect to see an increase in these numbers.”

The graduation numbers for the Nurse Anesthesia program are similar, with 25 out of 39 graduates remaining in Louisiana and 18 out of 39 graduates working in a medically underserved or rural community.