New Jersey City University (NJCU) announced March 9 it will receive $782,000 in federally appropriated funds to increase access to the school’s online nursing education program.
The funding will be put toward revamping offerings, enhancing the technical framework and expanding educational opportunities.
The school says the appropriation is timely, as the state faces a nursing shortage that was only made worse by the pandemic. NJCU also believes it will help to meet growing demand for online nursing education, ultimately leading to the graduation of more qualified nurses to serve New Jersey and the region.
“NJCU has a storied history of providing and championing equitable access and pipelines to education, including educating nurses,” said NJCU interim President Andres Acebo in a press release. “This strategic investment from the federal government in the state’s oldest minority-serving and Hispanic-serving public university, with the most socioeconomically diverse student body, enhances the reach of the institution’s mission of meeting our students wherever they are – so they can enter to learn from anywhere, and exit to serve a state in desperate need of nurses after the pandemic.”
Acebo shouted out Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., a fellow Hudson County native and recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from NJCU in 2022, for his efforts helping to secure the funds.
“I especially wish to thank Sen. Menendez for understanding and championing the value of our institution and its indispensable role in elevating future nurses,” said Acebo. “Together, we are educating socially conscious and dedicated nurses and public health professionals.”
“I was proud to advocate on behalf of New Jersey City University to help deliver funds that would provide online nursing students the opportunity to flexibly balance family, work, school, and their other priorities,” Menendez said. “This funding supports the preparation needed for nursing students to have successful careers in our health care system from the comfort of their home, saving them money while doing so.”
The expanded online nursing program will provide remote and online instruction, flexible tutorial and mentoring schedules, and advance simulation technology, while offering a wide range of academic and non-academic support.
“I know that nursing faculty are looking forward to transitioning in-person courses to online format, thereby providing flexibility for working professionals enrolled in our RN-to-BSN program as well as students in our one-year, Accelerated Nursing Program,” said Joyce Wright, chair of the NJCU Nursing Department and its RN to BSN coordinator. “Like NJCU’s entire student body, our nursing students reflect the diversity of our communities and offering this additional accommodation will enable them to earn degrees more conveniently and more rapidly begin meeting the essential healthcare needs of their underserved populations.”
“As technology and learning styles change, we also must change how we deliver this education, and we are uniquely positioned to deliver this service to our population of underserved students,” Acebo added.