SDSU awarded grant to address nursing shortage in rural areas

February 16, 2023

BROOKINGS, S.D.–South Dakota State University’s College of Nursing has been awarded a three-year grant to help address the growing shortage of nurses in rural areas.

The grant is in partnership with one of South Dakota’s largest health care systems, Avera Health, and comes by way of the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the United State Department of Health and Human Services. The full grant amount totals more than $1 million.

Theresa Garren-Grubbs, a clinical assistant professor, will serve as the education project director for SDSU in the partnership.

“The goal is really to improve the recruitment and retainment of new nurses in rural health care settings,” Garren-Grubbs said. “We are also hoping to identify students who are interested in rural health and provide them with targeted experiences in this setting.”

Many rural states—including South Dakota—are currently experiencing a nursing shortage. The COVID-19 pandemic played a significant part in that, but the large number of nursing graduates leaving the state has also been a contributing factor. HRSA’s Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Registered Nurse Training Program has made it a primary objective to address these issues by providing funding to areas of need.