Hoping to help ease nursing and public health worker shortages, the Longwood Foundation has given Delaware State University a $1.75 million grant to help double the size of its nursing program.
Delaware’s only Historically Black College and University plans to significantly increasing the number of nursing graduates through 2026 and then further increase that through 2030.
Half of those graduates are expect to be Delawareans, a university press r3elease said.
The DSU Nursing Program had 75 graduates in May 2023.
The Longwood investment will help fund a second clinical simulation lab, as well as a rehabilitation center, and a nursing summer pilot program to help freshmen pre-nursing majors adjust to the rigors of the curriculum.
Those nurses still must pass the National Council Licensure Examination, but an influx of new nurses is expected to enter the workforce in Wilmington, Dover and throughout Delaware.
Nursing program details
The DSU Nursing Program had an 83% license exam pass rate in 2023. DSU says the grant will help the program to increase that pass rate.
Dr. Gwen Scott-Jones, dean of the University’s Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, said she is please that the Longwood money will help expand the pilot program to help pre-nursing freshmen and sophomores.
The goal is to make sure pre-nursing students make it into the professional nursing program and DSU graduates highly skilled nurses who can pass the licensing exam, she said.
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This is not Longwood’s first grant. It gave DSU a $1 million grant in 2020 to help DSU take over the former Wesley College.
The University’s renamed its health programs the Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences and moved it to the 50-acre campus near Downtown Dover, which is now called DSU Downtown.
With the acquisition, DSU also inherited Wesley College’s nursing program and students.
Started in 1975, the DSU Nursing Program is recognized by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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