NAU receives $6.4 million grant for nursing program


ARIZONA — A $6.4 million grant to Northern Arizona University will expand NAU’s accelerated nursing programs, including offering full-tuition scholarships to 240 students earning their nursing degrees to address Arizona’s critical health care shortage.
NAU is introducing a new compressed bachelor’s in nursing (CBSN) program at campuses throughout the state including Flagstaff, Tucson and Yuma. The 16-month compressed program is designed for students with some college experience and is anticipated to launch in fall 2023. The CBSN program joins NAU’s existing accelerated bachelor’s in nursing (ABSN) program as affordable pathways to nursing degrees. The ABSN program, which is offered at select campuses this summer, is designed for students who have existing bachelor’s degrees in a field outside of nursing.
“At NAU, we are committed to ensuring students are prepared to enter the nursing workforce our state so desperately needs,” said NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera. “Thanks to this state grant, NAU will significantly expand its nursing program offerings and educate more students who will positively contribute to serving Arizona’s communities and address health equity throughout our state.”
The grant funded by the State of Arizona through the Arizona Department of Health Services aims to address the shortage of health care workers in Arizona communities by removing financial barriers and ensuring people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to become nurses. Upon graduation, each scholarship recipient is required to work for four years as a nurse in Arizona. Graduates will secure nursing roles in all corners of the state, including rural and underserved communities.
“Arizona is ranked in the top five states nationwide experiencing severe nursing shortages,” Lillian Smith, dean of NAU’s College of Health and Human Services highlighted. “NAU is positioned to address this critical shortage by increasing access to high-quality accelerated nursing programs which will decrease the time of completion for practice-ready bachelor’s prepared nurses to enter the workforce.”
“The tuition scholarships remove economic barriers for those individuals who may be unable to return to school for financial reasons,” added Janina Johnson, executive director of NAU’s School of Nursing. “NAU has a rich history of serving rural and underserved communities. With this grant and NAU’s School of Nursing strong track record offering quality nursing education, we can support and graduate more nurses and build the nursing workforce across all Arizona communities.”
Those interested in nursing programs at Northern Arizona University should visit to learn more.