Sandburg Nursing Program Receives State Grant for $96K

GALESBURG — Carl Sandburg College recently was awarded a grant from the Illinois Board of Higher Education that will support students in the college’s associate degree nursing program and help meet health care workforce needs in the state.

Sandburg was one of 12 schools in Illinois that received a total of $1.4 million in grant funding from the IBHE for the current fiscal year. The grants are designed to increase the number of registered professional nurses with high-quality credentials to meet the demands of the workforce.

Sandburg received $96,401, which will go toward purchasing audio/video equipment and software for its simulation lab as well as assisting students with end-of-program expenses such as fingerprinting and board exams such as the NCLEX. The college will also use funds to continue its focus on retention of minority and nontraditional students in the nursing program.

“This grant will positively affect our students in ways both in and out of the classroom,” said Dr. Emily Schaeffer, dean of health professions. “Our simulation lab gives Sandburg students the opportunity to experience situations they’ll encounter in health care environments. Also, helping cover the cost of fees that students must pay to obtain their state licensure will lessen the financial and mental stress our graduates carry as they prepare to enter the workforce.”

Grants were awarded through a competitive application process in which institutions submitted data about their enrollment, retention, completion and job placement rates during a multi-year period and how grant funds would be used to enhance their program’s efforts to close equity gaps and improve student success.

“These funds will help nursing programs prepare students for a successful career and meet the demands of the health care industry at a time when the health professional shortage and the critical work nurses perform have become more evident than ever,” said Ginger Ostro, IBHE executive director. “We are pleased to partner with institutions to help prepare the nurses of tomorrow and meet the goals of the higher education strategic plan to close equity gaps." 

The announcement of this award comes shortly after Sandburg received a $90,000 grant from the Illinois Community College Board that will support the college’s welding program through the purchase of a state-of-the-art welding training simulator.