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March 2, 2023

$30.5M in federal funds will allow CT colleges to hire more nursing instructors, provide student tuition support

Peter Morenus/UConn Photo UConn's Storrs campus.

A partnership that includes Connecticut colleges, hospitals and state agencies is using  $30.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to try to address the workforce shortages in nursing and social work.

Part of the funding will be used to expand nursing school faculty and provide tuition support for students, while creating strategic workforce partnerships, officials said.

The initiative – called CT Health Horizons – is a partnership between the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU), Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS), UConn, Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, multiple state agencies and Connecticut Hospital Association. 

The $30.5 million will be distributed to the various partners “through a competitive but collaborative process,” officials said, based on the strengths of different colleges and universities.

Funding will allow for:

  • Hiring nursing faculty at 17 schools to try to address the nursing faculty shortage that has led to nursing programs only accepting one quarter of qualified students.
  • Nursing tuition support at 16 schools, with a priority on accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree programs.
  • Master of Social Work (MSW) tuition support at six schools and hiring of faculty at five schools. Licensed clinical social workers are the most needed positions in the behavioral health workforce, officials said.
  • Support for innovative nursing programs at seven schools, and innovative social work programs at four schools with a 50% match from employer partner or in-kind support.

More than 45 faculty are expected to be hired by the third year of the CT Health Horizons initiative and an additional 1,000 students will be provided with tuition support, officials said.


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