Missouri Western Health ProfessionsOct. 5, 2022–Missouri Western State University has received a $230,000 grant from the Missouri State Board of Nursing to support a proposed pilot program to address the current nursing shortage. The grant will support a proposed pilot program to help licensed practical nurses (LPNs) remain on the job while earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and becoming registered nurses.

“The LPN to BSN Remote Pilot Project will allow us to work with clinical partners Mosaic Life Care and Liberty Hospital to provide access for LPNs to educational and clinical experiences at their worksites,” said Dr. Crystal Harris, dean of the College of Science and Health. “This will enable them to ‘earn while they learn’ while also fulfilling important workforce needs.”

LPNs will receive a grant-funded scholarship to pursue their BSN and licensure as a registered nurse, while also earning a salary and professional development funding that may be available from the employer. 

“This is an outstanding example of how Missouri Western creates opportunities for people to enhance their skills while addressing a critical regional need,” said Dr. Elizabeth Kennedy, Missouri Western’s president. “Countless people will be impacted by this program, and I’m grateful for the strong partnerships we have with Mosaic Life Care, Liberty Hospital and the State Board of Nursing that make it possible.”

“The nursing program at Missouri Western continues to adapt and innovate curriculum delivery in this high-need area,” said Dr. Laura Reynolds, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Working alongside our partners, Dr. Harris and her team created an outstanding proposal which directly addresses workforce needs of the region and state.”

After the pilot program receives final approval from the State Board of Nursing later this year, Missouri Western will form a Professional Advancement Advisory Group, revise the BSN to allow for a remote format, expand the clinical partnerships with Mosaic and Liberty Hospital, including training additional clinical supervisors, and begin recruiting LPN to BSN students.

Missouri Western is one of 11 colleges and universities to receive funding through the special appropriation to the Missouri State Board of Nursing to address the nursing shortage. Gov. Mike Parson announced the grants Sept. 21

“My administration has prioritized workforce development, especially for our high demand fields such as nursing,” Gov. Parson said in a press release. “It is vitally important that we continue to invest in Missouri’s health care workforce.”

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit missouriwestern.edu