Longwood awards $1.75M to expand Nursing Program
In acknowledgment of the current nursing and public health practitioner shortages, the Longwood Foundation has awarded the University a $1.75 million grant in support of an expansion of Delaware State University’s Nursing Program.
The Nursing Program’s growth targets include significantly expanding the number of nursing graduates over the next three years through 2026 and then further increasing that through 2030 – with 50% are expected to be Delawareans. The DSU Nursing Program produced 75 graduates in May 2023.
The Longwood investment will provide support for the establishment of a second Clinical Simulation Lab, as well as a Rehabilitation Center, and a Nursing Summer Pilot Program to help incoming freshman Pre-Nursing majors adjust to the rigors of the discipline’s curriculum.
As the retention, graduation and National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rate goals are met with a larger cohort of nursing students, there will be an increase in the number of nurses entering the workforce in Wilmington, Dover and throughout the State of Delaware. The DSU Nursing Program had an 83% NCLEX pass rate in 2023; the grant will help the program to increase that testing success.
“The grant will increase the student’s successful ability to matriculate through the program and be immediate contributors to the nursing profession,” said Dr. Agnes Richardson, Chair of the DSU Nursing Program.
“The DSU Department of Nursing has assessed that the growth of this program necessitates a need to support the program’s sustainability through expanded lab space to accommodate students’ needs related to clinical preparation.”
Dr. Gwen Scott-Jones, Dean of the University’s Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences, said she is especially excited that the funding will launch a pilot program that will help Pre-Nursing students (freshman and sophomore years).
“Our overall goal is to ensure that our Pre-Nursing students successfully make it into the Professional Nursing Program (during their junior and senior years) and that we graduate highly skilled nurses who can successfully pass the NCLEX,” Dean Scott-Jones said.
This Longwood grant is a continuation of longstanding support to the University, which included a $1 million grant in 2020 to assist DSU in supporting the acquisition of the former Wesley College. The University’s renamed Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences has moved to that 50-acre campus near Downtown Dover, now called DSU Downtown. With the acquisition, the University also inherited Wesley College’s nursing program and students.
The DSU Nursing Program is based in the Hattie Dabney Mishoe Nursing Hall (formerly Johnston Hall, which was recently renamed after then-Delaware State College’s beloved longtime First Lady).
First established in 1975, the DSU Nursing Program is affirmed by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.