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Released June 6, 2003


HATTIESBURG - For the third year in a row, The University of Southern Mississippi's Dr. Bonnie Harbaugh has secured grant funding to assist full-time nursing students in pursuing master's and doctoral degrees. The funding will allow Southern Miss graduates to be among those helping deal with a nationwide shortage of nurses, in particular nurses with advanced degrees.

The grant is an Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship, and is awarded by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). This year's award is for $78,900. Last year, Harbaugh secured $98,000, and the year before $75,000.

The amount of money awarded each year is based on a number of factors, including the overall number of nursing students and the number of students pursuing master's and doctoral degrees.

The traineeship grants are awarded to full-time nursing students who are pursuing master's or doctoral degrees. The money is used to help pay for tuition and fees.

"This allows nurses in graduate school to reduce the amount of outside work they must do, helping them get out of school faster," Harbaugh said.

And once they are out, the master's and doctoral graduates should be welcomed with open arms. There is currently no shortage of nurse practitioners, Harbaugh said, but the health care system is badly in need of advanced degree nursing graduates, those prepared to teach at colleges and schools of nursing and to serve as leaders in their field.

Moving those graduates as quickly as possible into the positions where they will make a difference is the HRSA grant's primary purpose.

Southern Miss offers master's degrees in adult health, community health, administration, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric nursing and psychiatric nurse practitioner. It offers a doctoral in nursing and ethics, leadership and health policy analysis.

Anyone interested in attending the Southern Miss College of Nursing's master's or doctoral program should call 266-5456 for more information. They can also visit the college's Web site at


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM