CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 3, 2011 — Southeast Missouri State University has been awarded $24,826 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship Grant program to provide financial assistance to students in Southeast’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. Eligible trainees may be prepared as family nurse practitioners (FNP) or nurse educators, according to Dr. Elaine Jackson, professor of nursing at Southeast. FNP students are prepared to effectively deliver primary health care to a broad variety of client populations. Nurse educator students are prepared to practice in a variety of nursing education environments, she said. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, nursing job vacancies are projected to swell to over 22,000 positions in Missouri alone by 2012 – with over half of these representing new job openings (not replacement vacancies created by worker mobility or retirement). The new AENT grant award will bolster graduation and retention of advanced practice nurses in southeast Missouri, she said. “Since 1997, Southeast has continuously received monies from the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship Grant. Grant monies allowed students to finish coursework and enter the practice setting in a timely manner,” Jackson said. “Over 40 graduate nursing students have benefited from grant monies, and the vast majority of the trainees have remained in southeast Missouri. The benefit to the health of southeast Missouri’s residents would be considered by many to be priceless.” Southeast’s graduate nursing program is the only graduate nursing program physically located in the region and focuses on the assessment, management and delivery of health care services to individuals and families across the lifespan. Particular emphasis is directed to the health care needs of underserved populations in rural areas. The Department of Nursing’s mission is to prepare students to practice professional nursing within the context of knowledgeable caring. The Department promotes intellectual, personal and professional growth by integrating theoretical knowledge, clinical experiences and a strong interdisciplinary liberal arts education. The current MSN curriculum and FNP option are a response to a Board of Regents’ survey of regional requirements that found an urgent need, especially in rural areas, for master’s prepared nurses and primary health care providers. Further input from regional residents and health care professionals led to development of the nurse educator option. Southeast Missouri State University’s MSN program was fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) on April 21, 2001, and received a full 10 year re-accreditation as of April 2011. Southeast Missouri State University is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. For information on the MSN and other nursing programs at Southeast, visit the Department of Nursing website at http://www.semo.edu/nursing/. For additional information about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nursing workforce grant awards, visit http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/07/20110729a.html.