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Huntsville’s Drake State receives $75K grant to expand LPN program as area experiences nursing shortage

Drake State Community & Technical College’s Health Sciences department announced on Monday that it has secured nearly $75,000 from the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) to strengthen and expand its Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program.

According to the release, the grant will be utilized to create additional career pathways for practical nursing students who hold an interest in pursuing a career in patient care or medicine. These pathways, the college says, will also help expand Alabama’s healthcare industry.

Health Sciences director Dr. Alice Raymond says the ACCS grant will prove to be financially beneficial to the college’s students.

“Funding like this provides greater access to nursing careers in and out of the hospital and much-needed scholarships that will go toward books, tuition and fees, uniforms and more technology,” said Raymond.

She added, “Students will be able to focus on their studies rather than worry about how to finance their education. That is an added bonus for them.”

Drake State’s practical nursing program was founded in 1963 and has provided licensed practical nurses to area health care facilities for nearly six decades.

The state of Alabama, particularly in the Tennessee Valley, continues to experience widespread nursing shortages caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Huntsville Hospital System is continuing its efforts to work with local colleges in addressing the nursing workforce scarcity.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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