HHS awards $58.7 million to bolster America’s health care workforce

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Thursday, August 30, 2012

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $58.7 million in grants to strengthen training for health professionals and increase the size of our health care workforce.

“These grants and the programs they support are vital to achieving a comprehensive and culturally competent health professions workforce capable of meeting future health care challenges,” Secretary Sebelius said.  

The 254 grants support the following programs:

Nursing Workforce Development  ($30.2 million)

  • Nurse Faculty Loan ($23.3 million) provides grants to 112 nursing schools to increase the number of qualified nursing faculty in the United States. Support from this program allows nursing schools to offer eligible students partial loan forgiveness when they graduate and serve as full-time nursing faculty for a prescribed period of time.  Awards from the prior academic year supported more than 1,550 master’s and doctoral students.
  • Nursing Workforce Diversity ($4.6 million) supports grants to 14 nursing schools to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities who are underrepresented among registered nurses.  Grant activities will include academic support, financial assistance, and student mentoring. Awards from the prior academic year supported more than 10,600 students.
  • Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship ($2.3 million) funds 81 nurse anesthetist education programs to provide traineeships to licensed registered nurses enrolled as full-time students in a master’s or doctoral nurse anesthesia program. Traineeships will pay all or part of the costs of the tuition, books, and fees, and the reasonable living expenses (stipends) of the individual during the period for which the traineeship is provided.

Interdisciplinary and Geriatric Education and Training ($6.6 million)

  • Comprehensive Geriatric Education ($4 million) supports 17 grants for projects to train and educate individuals in providing geriatric care for the elderly, including curriculum development, faculty training and continuing education for geriatric providers. Awards from the prior academic year supported education and training for 3,645 registered nurses, 1,238 registered nursing students, 264 faculty, 569 licensed practical/vocational nurses, 5,344 allied health professionals, and 870 direct services workers.
  • Interdisciplinary and Interprofessional Graduate Joint Degree ($2.6 million) highlights the importance of integrating public health content into medical or clinical curricula through support to 10 grantees. This program supports collaboration and integration of health profession and public health education, community-based training, and faculty development.

Centers of Excellence  ($18.8 million)

  • Centers of Excellence  funds 14 health professions schools to improve the recruitment and performance of underrepresented minority students preparing for health professions careers. This five-year program also supports the development of reference materials, clinical education, curricula, and cultural competence as they relate to minority health issues. Grantees will also focus on facilitating faculty and student research on health issues particularly affecting underrepresented minority groups.  

Dentistry ($3 million)

  • Faculty Development in General, Pediatric, and Public Health Dentistry and Dental Hygiene supports six oral health education programs that train future faculty in general, pediatric, public health dentistry, or dental hygiene.  This support will improve access to oral health care by increasing our training capacity in dentistry programs.

HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration oversees grants to strengthen the nation’s health professions workforce.   For more information, see HRSA Health Professions Programs.

See the grant awards, listed by State.


The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.

Date Last Reviewed:  March 2017