Azusa Pacific University’s School of Nursing (SON) received two grants totaling $4,396,200 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) with Aja Tulleners Lesh, PhD, RN, executive director of the Institute of Health Research, as the principal investigator. Both awards are Nursing Student Loan (NSL) forgiveness grants in the amount of $2,922,987 for baccalaureate and $1,473,213 for graduate nursing students.

“These are unprecedented awards that reflect the reputation of APU and the nurses we produce,” Lesh said. “APU is the third largest producer of new nurses into the state of California workforce. Last year we graduated more than 700 licensed nurses.”

The HRSA seeks to improve health outcomes and achieve health equity through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative, high-value programs. By providing financial support to universities like APU, HRSA is helping thousands of future nurses go from the classroom to the bedside. Nursing students are required to complete regularly scheduled extensive clinicals in addition to their coursework, leaving little time for a job to help pay for school. These grants are vital in helping the next generation of nurses afford a quality education before entering the field.

“Our clinical partners in Southern California know we educate practice ready nurses that have ethics and values, nurses that make a difference in their workplace,” said Renee Pozza, PhD, RN, CNS, FNP-BC, interim dean of the SON. “Our students are extremely hard working, caring, and compassionate individuals who make an impact in the lives of the patients and families they serve.”

Informed by a Christian worldview, APU’s nursing school prepares professional nurses for leadership and compassionate, collaborative practice in health care. Through innovative programs and expert faculty, nursing students engage in challenging discussions, mentoring relationships in small classroom settings, invaluable hands-on experiences in state-of-the-art simulation labs, and a culturally diverse practice environment that includes both study abroad and global research opportunities. In its 45th year, the program provides a transformative education for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral students, called to enter this helping profession.

All nursing students at APU are welcome and encouraged to apply for these grants. To learn more, contact the School of Nursing.