by Sheryl Marlar

Not only are Georgia colleges and universities operating at full capacity to meet the growing demand for nurses, they are working just as busily to train the educators who teach those nurses.

A nurse educator helps a student on a laptopThanks to an $80,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente, the Tanner Health System School of Nursing (THSSON) at the University of West Georgia can help meet that need. The grant will allow the school to provide scholarships assistance to undergraduates and a consultant to assist nurse educators with their research and dissertations.

According to Kaiser Permanente’s website, the company has shown its commitment to improving total community health through a variety of grants for charitable and community-based organizations during the past 70 years.

UWG’s well-established reputation in the southeast for preparing nurse educators through both master’s and doctorate degree programs has led to increased and full enrollment in the last four years.

“Despite our increased enrollment, admission to all of our programs is extremely competitive,” said Dr. Jenny Schuessler, THSSON dean. “The knowledge that scholarship support is available encourages students to take on the challenge of enrolling, and the scholarship support is critical to their ability to complete their degree in a timely manner.”

Kaiser Permanente’s support of scholarships and assistance in dissertation research and publication at UWG has been vital to the nursing college’s success. Doctoral students rely on the consultant provided by Kaiser Permanente for assistance on research and analysis to establish validity of their work and complete their degrees.

Dr. Pam Dunagan is the director and assistant professor for the division of nursing at Berry College, who received her master’s degree in nursing from UWG.

“I feel my education at UWG has, in part, helped me become a nurse leader in nursing education,” Dunagan said. “Immediately after graduation from UWG, I was accepted into the Mercer Ph.D. nursing program. Without the solid foundation of education in educating nursing students I received from UWG, I would not have been successful in my doctoral program or my job as a nurse educator and leader.”

In 2016, Kaiser Permanente invested nearly $82 million in charitable funding to organizations serving communities where they operate.

“The Kaiser Permanente Foundation of Georgia’s grant will provide scholarships to nursing students as well as assist students in our Ed.D. in nursing education programs in developing and implementing their dissertation research,” Schuessler concluded. “In this time of nursing and nursing faculty shortages, it is more vital than ever to produce graduates of our programs. We are very grateful to Kaiser for their recent commitment and ongoing support.”

Posted on February 16, 2018