TROY’s School of Nursing receives grant to increase number of nursing faculty in Alabama

June 15, 2020

Troy University’s School of Nursing has been awarded a grant aimed at increasing the number of qualified nursing faculty in Alabama.

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program grant, totaling $89,319, is awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a partner in this project, Troy University will provide 10 percent of the total funding. Dr. Carrie Lee Gardner, Associate Professor in the TROY School of Nursing, is the project’s director.

The grant program provides funding to accredited schools of nursing to offer loans to students enrolled in advanced education nursing degree programs who are committed to become nurse faculty. In exchange for full-time, post-graduation employment as nurse faculty, the program authorizes the cancelation of up to 85 percent of any such loan.

“This is a big accomplishment for the School of Nursing,” said Dr. Wade Forehand, Director of TROY’s School of Nursing. “Receiving this grant will be instrumental in attracting Doctor of Nursing Practice students to our program and developing nursing educators. I am grateful to Dr. Carrie Lee Gardner, the principal investigator for this grant, who was instrumental in putting the grant together and pursuing this activity.”

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reported that 75,029 qualified applicants were not offered admission to baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2018, and the insufficient numbers of faculty played a significant role in those numbers.

“Many nursing schools are unable to admit qualified applicants in large part due to insufficient numbers of faculty,” Dr. Gardner said. “The majority of job vacancies in nursing schools were for positions that required or preferred a doctoral degree. The aim of this funding opportunity is to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty.”

Dr. Gardner said that over the last five years, the percentage of Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates at TROY who seek positions in nursing education has ranged from 16 to 35 percent. Since its inception in 2009, TROY’s DNP program has experienced success in placing graduate nursing faculty positions throughout the Southeast. Since 2015, the DNP program has graduated students residing in Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi.

“The DNP degree prepares nurses to practice at the highest level of clinical practice. While the majority of graduates work professionally in clinical practice settings such as primary care offices, and health facilities, the degree also prepares students to teach nursing in colleges and universities,” Gardner said.    

Funding for students will be available beginning in the 2020 Fall Semester. Those interested in applying should contact Dr. Gardner at

This article for this partnership is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $89,319 with 10%financed with non-governmental sources.  The contents are those of Troy University and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.