New Federal Grant at TAMIU Increases Opportunities for Baccalaureate Nursing Education

Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded Texas A&M International University more than $600,000, to be paid over three years, to create the "BSN-PRN: Promoting Generic Baccalaureate RN Education" program. (photo)

More than $150,000 will be granted the first year, allowing the Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing to begin working on the three strategies of the project: recruiting local and rural Hispanic students from area high schools, providing a second point of entry and/or remediation for students beginning the clinical nursing coursework portion of the nursing curriculum and enhancing the supportive and remediation resources available to students throughout the program.

Dr. Susan Baker, director of the Canseco School of Nursing, said the grant would help TAMIU meet the needs of the community, not only those who would be students but citizens in need of medical care.

"The summer entry will allow us to serve students who may not meet all admission criteria in the spring, as well as those on military or other scholarships that limit assistance to two calendar years. It also provides for a true 2 + 2 articulation opportunity for students who begin their studies at a community college," said Baker.

Carmen Bruni, project director and assistant professor of nursing, explained that the funds will allow the School of Nursing to reach more people and support program students better.

"With this grant, we'll be able to expand our recruitment process to increase the amount of mentoring we can provide at local and rural high schools. We'll help students get a second chance at entering the program by setting a second opportunity for admission for those with low admission test scores, incomplete prerequisite coursework or late application. We also will be able to provide increased individual, group and computer tutoring for all nursing courses for students identified as at risk," said Bruni.

She explained that the project is expected to increase the number of applicants from rural counties from five to 25% overall. In addition, she said the over all enrollment is expected to increase from 52 to 95 by the third year of the program.

For more information about the Dr. F.M. Canseco School of Nursing, please contact Dr. Susan Baker at 326.2450, visit offices in the Dr. F.M. Canseco Hall, room 315 or e-mail

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