Federal Grant Helps APU Expand Nursing Program
A nearly $3 million federal grant lets Alaska Pacific University (APU) expand its nurse education program. “Receiving this grant is a tremendous opportunity for Alaska Pacific University to further grow our nursing programs, particularly in rural and Alaska Native communities,” says APU President Janelle Vanasse.
$2,999,913 to Be Exact
The grant from the US Department of Labor supports diversification and expansion of the nursing profession through the Alaska Nursing Expansion Initiative. Paid over a five-year period, the grant aims to address the workforce needs of the tribal health system and other rural healthcare providers.
“We are very thankful to the Department of Labor for this grant to support the Alaska Nursing Expansion Initiative through the APU nursing programs,” says Marianne Murray, director and professor of nursing at APU. “With the strategic support and intentional collaboration of our Alaskan healthcare industry partners, we hope to significantly increase nurses in Alaska that are able to provide culturally safe care to fellow Alaskans.”
APU offers the only fully accredited licensed practical nursing program in the state, maintaining partnerships with community organizations like Foundation Health Partners and Denali Center in Fairbanks and the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation and Yuut Elitnaurviat in Bethel. The program plans to expand to Anchorage, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Juneau within the following year.
“Teaching culturally safe healthcare is such an integral part of our nursing program’s curriculum, and we’ve seen the positive impact it’s had firsthand,” says Vanasse. “This funding will enable us to equip our nursing workforce with the knowledge, skills, and cultural competence necessary to provide high-quality care that’s inclusive to all Alaskans.”
The grant is part of a larger initiative by the US Department of Labor, which has provided more than $78 million in grant funding to support workforce training programs in seventeen states, targeting staffing challenges faced by nursing professionals in the care economy. APU is among twenty-five public-private partnerships across the US to receive funding through the Nursing Expansion Grant Program.