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USD nursing program receives $1 million grant

The University of South Dakota Department of Nursing has received a substantial boost in its effort to increase the number of nurses working in rural and underserved areas.

The Health and Resources Services Administration awarded the program a $1 million grant, university officials said Friday.

USD Nursing Assistant Professor and Associate Chair Anne Kleinhesselink and Chair Anne Pithan are managing the grant, which will be disbursed in increments of $350,000 per year for the next three years.

“Communities across the state are without the resources necessary to support the health care needs of underserved populations in South Dakota and as administrators of this grant, we will meet this need,” Pithan said. “USD is fully equipped to meet the workforce challenges in the state of South Dakota because we understand those challenges and have the capacity to develop innovative education to strengthen undergraduate nursing student skills to practice in acute care settings. This grant will advance health equity, increase students’ awareness of acute care in underserved communities and prepare them to provide care in these communities.”

A press release from the university said the grant will allow the program to achieve the following goals by 2025:

  1. Increase number of USD nursing graduates practicing in acute care settings in underserved communities by 5% annually.
  2. Increase the confidence of current and future nurses by developing their leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills.
  3. Increase the number of USD nursing students from underserved communities by 5%.
  4. Increase the number of Native American nursing students at USD by 5%.
  5. Train 24 nursing students annually in acute care settings in underserved communities.
Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.