Fairmont State University has been awarded $1 million through West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s Nursing Workforce Expansion Program, which is designed to address the state’s nursing shortage through a multifaceted approach to attract, train, and retain nurses in the Mountain State. Representing a fundamental part of this approach, an award program was established to fund nursing program expansion projects at colleges, universities, schools of nursing, and career technical education centers across West Virginia.
Through Fairmont State University’s award, the College of Nursing plans to expand its Nursing Simulation Lab and design new nursing courses. The investment is expected to support up to 20 new nursing students at Fairmont State University.
“We are ever grateful to Gov. Justice for his generosity and support of our College of Nursing,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “This unprecedented award will greatly enhance our ability to provide hands-on training and educate even more students, instilling them with the knowledge and skills to serve as the next generation of leaders in our healthcare systems. Through the expansion of our programs, we will continue to graduate caring, talented nurses during the most critical of times as our region and state are combating a healthcare crisis.”
The nursing program expansion awards are administered by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission and Community and Technical College System. Twenty-six funded projects across the state were announced by Gov. Justice on March 17. Approved projects were required to be focused on increasing enrollment in pre-licensure nursing programs through innovative approaches focused on timely degree completion and licensure for graduates.
“We are tremendously grateful to Gov. Justice for providing this historic funding to support the expansion of nursing education programs across West Virginia,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “Through these new projects, our postsecondary education community will be better positioned to help shore up West Virginia’s nursing workforce – which, in turn, will help support our nurses working tirelessly on the front lines right now.”
Governor Justice announced the West Virginia Nursing Workforce Expansion Program in December 2021 by dedicating $48 million to support new and expanded initiatives that will train new nurses, fully fund the West Virginia Nursing Scholarship Program, value nurses already practicing in the state, and recruit nurses into West Virginia.