Grants totaling $5 million are being distributed to a total of 20 colleges and universities across Missouri, to be used to bolster nursing programs. Gov. Michael Parson (R) approved the distribution at the end of 2023.

Almost $3 million in funding previously was approved by the governor in September 2022 through the first special appropriation by the Missouri General Assembly, meaning that a total of almost $8 million has been committed through the governor’s office.

The recipients of the funds are charged with providing scholarships and tuition assistance for nursing faculty, clinical simulation equipment and staffing, technology enhancements, faculty pay increases, nursing faculty professional development, and graduate nursing program development to educate more nursing faculty.

Missouri State University’s West Plains received the biggest slice of the pie, with a grant of $532,944. Missouri State’s main campus in Springfield garnered $394,772.

The main campus will use the monies to add two full-time faculty members to the program and develop an accelerated graduate nursing program. The grant also will provide scholarships and traineeships for students who commit to teaching for three years in a School of Nursing as a faculty member. 

“There are a lot of qualified BSN nurses that just haven’t gone back because they don’t have money to go back to school or they are working, so I wanted to target those people,” Kathryn Patterson, DNP, told the university’s newspaper on Sunday. “They are excellent resources. They are working right now in the workforce and they’re the best bet, but they just don’t have that degree. So the idea was to make an accelerated master’s program.”

Another big award went to St. Luke’s College–Rockhurst University was awarded $450,000, and Missouri Baptist University received $441,405. A $386,780 grant was awarded to Missouri Western State University. 

St. Charles Community College received $293,400; University of Missouri–Columbia, $285,996; University of Central Missouri, $256,875; Maryville University $227,000; and Crowder College, $211,855.

Other approved grants: 

  • $198,000 to North Central Missouri College
  • $172,760 to Bolivar Technical College
  • $165,590 to College of the Ozarks
  • $159,856 to Lincoln University
  • $150,000 to Truman State University
  • $150,000 to University of Missouri – Kansas City
  • $147,500 to Northwest Missouri State University
  • $140,000 to William Jewell College
  • $135,563 to Research College of Nursing
  • $99,704 to St. Louis University

“We applaud nursing programs for leveraging their research, creativity, and commitment to patient safety by proposing solutions to address the nursing program capacity issues,” said Lori Scheidt, executive director of the Missouri State Board of Nursing. 

“New technology will also allow nursing students to practice, refine and replicate complex clinical procedures, ultimately increasing patient safety,” she added.