fbpx
 
Nurse checking ear

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Backed by $2.5 million in new federal grant funding, Montana State University plans to offer full-ride scholarships to American Indian and Alaska Native students who enroll in its College of Nursing. 

The Montana Advantage Nursing Scholarships program is open to all American Indian and Alaska Native undergraduates in the nursing program. Participants must demonstrate financial need and be a member of the school’s Caring For Our Own Program — an initiative designed to encourage more Native Americans and Alaska Natives to enter the nursing field — or MSU’s TRIO Student Support Services program.

“The Caring for Our Own Program has a 20-year track record demonstrating that the nursing shortage in rural and tribal areas of Montana can be solved,” Professor Laura Larsson, director of the Caring For Our Own Program, said in a statement. “This funding will accelerate our progress.”

The five-year grant funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration will support 175 students total beginning in fall of 2020 through 2025. The university expects to have 24 students enrolled in the program this year and increase to 37 students by the end of the program, according to a statement.

By reducing financial barriers for students, the scholarship program aims to increase Native enrollment and graduation rates to “deliver culturally sensitive health care services to American Indian and Alaska Native people living in remote, rural settings and, to a lesser degree, urban areas,” Larsson stated. 

“We know from years of research that having a health care workforce that mirrors the racial or ethnic identities of patients is critical for achieving good health outcomes. Better access to culturally competent, clinically excellent American Indian and Alaska Native nurses will help to meet the health care needs of Montana’s tribal community members,” she said in a statement. 

Sarah Shannon, dean of the College of Nursing, said that the grant-funded scholarships will allow MSU to “double our impact” in supporting additional Native students. 

“We want to help Montana do a better job of providing health care for the Native American people who were its first citizens,” Shannon added. “We are proud that now we will be able to educate even more American Indian and Alaska Native bachelor’s-prepared nurses ready to provide evidence-based, culturally competent care.”

More Stories Like This

Bard College Gets $50 Million Boost for Indigenous Studies Program
American Indian College Fund President Cheryl Crazy Bull Named Member of the Thrive Leaders Network
Princeton University to Provide Financial Assistance to Students Whose Families Earn Less Than $100K
Can Better Data Help UM Retain Indigenous Students?
New Study Reveals Challenges of College Affordability for Native Students

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected]