Rivier University receives third round of $930,000 federal nursing grant


The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded Rivier University the third and final round of Nursing Workforce Diversity Grant funding in the amount of $350,000. The initial round of this grant was received in 2014 with a recommendation for two additional years of funding for a three-year maximum award of $930,000.

This federal grant, one of approximately 15 awarded annually, is designed to enhance nursing workforce diversity within the Nashua region. The grant focuses on supporting underrepresented and first-generation students with scholarships and stipends, academic enrichment and diversity activities, and enhanced cultural competency programs.

"Diversity in the nursing workforce is a necessary reflection of America's changing population," says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier's President. "HRSA grant funds have provided educational and experiential opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds and enriched Rivier's nursing program for the benefit of all."

In addition to professional development activities and enhanced outreach in student recruitment, grant funds supported development of the Rivier Success and Visionary Project (RSVP). The Project includes a system of peer and faculty mentors for RSVP students, along with specialized summer programs to provide enrichment for incoming freshmen and a bridge program for sophomores. 

Both programs offer the full University experience, with students living in Rivier University residence halls and experiencing many aspects of on-campus living. Activities include service projects, as well as the opportunity to learn college life skills and to recognize the many academic support systems available to them, such as the Academic Support Center.  

"The energy and commitment of the students admitted through the RSVP program is impressive," notes Dr. Paula Williams, Dean of the Division of Nursing and Health Professions and RSVP Director. "The summer programs and ongoing mentoring support allowed these students to make a smooth transition to the academic rigors of the fall semester this past year. We look forward to seeing them earn their B.S. in Nursing degrees and to serving the diverse populations of the Greater Nashua community and beyond."

Committed to cultural diversity and global engagement for all students, these grant funds further the Division of Nursing and Health Profession's mission to graduate culturally competent nursing professionals to serve the greater global community. For more information, visit www.rivier.edu/nursing.