The Western Michigan University (WMU) Bronson School of Nursing has received a $2 million grant to provide scholarships to students from different cultural backgrounds to cultivate a more diverse field of nurses.

The Michigan Center for Nursing reports 80 percent of nursing students in Michigan are white, compared to 15.3 percent of enrollees reporting a race other than white. Now, WMU hopes to change that statistic thanks to the $2 million grant.

Funded by the US Health Resources and Services Administration in the form of a four-year grant, WMU has created a new program called “Empower Success.” The grant money will provide nursing students with scholarships and give those from diverse cultural backgrounds additional support. The program will also establish student mentors for those who need extra help getting accustomed to cultural differences in the United States. This will include the creation of student care plans to ensure that students have what they need to be successful.

The goal of “Empower Success” is to increase diversity in WMU’s Bronson School of Nursing by 60 percent, ensuring that nurses in their community represent the entire population. Program director and Bronson School of Nursing professor Dr. Mary Ann Stark tells, “In order to be efficient with what you’re doing, you need people who are from other parts of the universe. If they are part of the nursing workforce we have a better nursing workforce. It’s going to improve healthcare for everyone.”

To learn more about WMU’s grant to increase cultural diversity in nursing, visit here.

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