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February 2008

Release Date: February 7, 2008

ASU Nursing Department Garners Second THECB Grant

Angelo State University’s Department of Nursing has been awarded an almost $300,000 partnership grant by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to help fund a new program aimed at combating the current shortage of nurses in Texas.

The grant is part of a $2.4 million package awarded through THECB’s Nursing Innovation Grant Program to 12 schools, including ASU, that make up the West Texas Nursing Education Consortium (WTNEC). Consortium members are partnering on the new project to standardize the application process for their nursing programs.

The partner schools will develop a regionalized application process that will allow prospective students to apply through a central portal to their top three choices of WTNEC nursing programs. Currently, students have to apply to each program individually and there is no system in place to refer them to another school if their first choice is not available or to notify them which schools still have openings. By regionalizing the process, every slot in the WTNEC nursing programs can be filled.

Last year, Texas lost an estimated 11,000 qualified nursing school applicants within the current system and much of that was a result of them not being matched with a Texas school.

“By utilizing the common application, students will be able to apply to multiple nursing programs at once, therefore allowing the most qualified applicants admission into West Texas nursing programs, including Angelo State,” said Linda Ross, professional specialist in the ASU Nursing Department. “The ultimate goal is to increase the number of registered nurses in the workforce in West Texas.”

The new project will also include developing a central WTNEC portal for access to student retention materials.

On Jan. 24, the ASU Nursing Department was awarded a $1.27 million THECB grant to fund a new program that, in partnership with four local and area hospitals, will reduce the costs and time commitments for selected licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) to continue their educations and become registered nurses (RNs).

For more information, contact Ross in the ASU Nursing Department at 942-2060, Ext. 259.