JULY 18, 2018 – Ella T. Heitzler, PhD, WHNP, FNP, RNC-OB, assistant professor of advanced Professor Ella Heitzlernursing practice at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, is principal investigator of a new federal grant award to bolster the nation’s nursing faculty workforce.

The nearly $350,000 grant (award number 2 E01HP287910400) from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, runs from July 1, 2018 until June 30, 2019.

About the award opportunity, HRSA notes, “The purpose of this one-year funding opportunity is to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty by providing funding to accredited schools of nursing to offer loans to students in advanced education nursing degree programs who are committed to become nurse faculty.”

Georgetown students who participate and become full-time nursing faculty upon their graduation may have “up to 85 percent of any such loan (plus interest thereon)” forgiven.*

Heitzler says, “At Georgetown, the grant funds will be used to support post-master’s DNP students who are dedicated to becoming full-time nurse faculty after graduation.”

Ultimately, an increased nursing faculty workforce in the United States helps educate more nursing students, a step necessary to alleviate shortages, Heitzler says.

“I congratulate Professor Heitzler for her work to secure this important federal grant award for our doctoral students,” says Patricia Cloonan, PhD, RN, the school’s dean. “We have been proudly educating the nation’s nursing workforce since 1903, something we could not do without a strong nursing faculty. This grant award positions us to make an even greater contribution to the nursing profession, as well as to the countless individuals and communities that nurses serve daily.”

* Editor’s note: “Recipient institutions shall make loans to individuals consistent with that purpose, and an amount up to 85 percent of any such loan (plus interest thereon) shall be canceled by the school, according to the schedule prescribed in statute, upon completion of up to four years of full-time employment as a faculty member in an accredited school of nursing.” From: HRSA Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) Notice of Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year 2018, page 2.