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UA Little Rock Receives $969K to Combat State’s Nursing Shortage

2 min read

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock announced Thursday in a press release that it received $969,200 in federal funds through the Arkansas Department of Commerce and the Arkansas Linking Industry to Growing Nurses (ALIGN) program to help attract, prepare and retain more nurses in Arkansas.

The funds will also support stipends for nurse educators who are earning advanced degrees in order to be experts in their fields, UA Little Rock said in a news release.

Additionally, the grant will provide $100,000 in total scholarships to 20 nursing students with the goal of helping nurses graduate with little to no debt.

The funding will be used for improvements at the school’s Center for Simulation Innovation.

“An invaluable component of ensuring realistic simulation experiences that develop safe, competent nurses is adequate simulation equipment, including state-of-the-art technology,” Joanna Hall, director of simulation, said in the release. “High-fidelity manikins that replicate human patients enable an incredibly high degree of immersion and critical thinking needed to ensure nursing students are workforce-ready by graduation.”

The money is a portion of $20.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds that the state distributed through the ALIGN program to nursing schools at 19 Arkansas colleges and universities. Eight schools received over $1 million in funding.

Funds must be spent by Dec. 31, 2026.

“The UA Little Rock School of Nursing is grateful for the ALIGN grant awarded to help our faculty and students be successful,” Dr. Sloan Davidson, director of the School of Nursing, said in the release. “We are proud to be a recipient of the ALIGN grant and are eager to begin the work to positively impact student and nurse educator retention at UA Little Rock School of Nursing.”

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