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November 4, 2013

Blinn awarded more than $18,000 to address statewide nursing shortage

Funds benefit faculty enhancement, student recruitment and curriculum innovation

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recently awarded the Blinn College Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program more than $18,000 to continue meeting the state’s growing demand for health care professionals.

Fund disbursement is based upon the program’s enrollment growth and graduation rate. Blinn was awarded $18,400.78 after its ADN program increased enrollment from 86 to 91 students and posted an 84.4 percent graduation rate.

The Texas Legislature appropriated $33.75 million to the Nursing Shortage Reduction Program this year. The fund holds schools accountable by providing up-front funding to schools such as Blinn with a graduation rate of 70 percent or higher, while schools that fail to meet that threshold must apply for funding based on a plan to produce more graduates with strong oversight by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The program was initiated in 2009, and from 2009-10 first-year enrollment in nursing schools grew 15.8 percent while total enrollment increased 12 percent. Graduates increased 10.8 percent. Despite the increase, the Texas Center for Nursing Workplace Studies reports that the demand for full-time registered nurses in Texas exceeds the supply by about 22,000, a total that is expected to grow as the state’s population ages and requires more acute care.

Funds awarded through the program must be used for faculty enhancement, student recruitment and the identification, development and implementation of curriculum innovations.

Blinn’s ADN program is accredited by the Texas Board of Nursing, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Program graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam to become a registered nurse. Blinn has received commendation from the Texas Board of Nursing five of the last six years, and its licensing exam pass rates are routinely above the state and national average. Program graduates posted an outstanding 92.86 percent pass rate on last year’s board exam.

“We have a great reputation in the community,” said ADN Director Michael Hutton. “Our clinical partners have told me time and time again that they love working with our students.”
For more information on Blinn’s ADN program, visit: www.blinn.edu/twe/adn/.