From staff reports
AMERICUS, GA (January 14, 2022) – Georgia Southwestern State University (GSW) will receive $866,723 from the Governors Education Emergency Relief Fund (GEER II), which will be used to cover the cost of all new state-of-the-art equipment. patient simulators and a complete renovation of the biology laboratory.
Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp announced earlier this week that a total of more than $47 million in emergency relief funds would be earmarked to support K-12 entities and higher education as they continue to face the disruptions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kemp said educators play a vital role in providing the workforce needed to combat the health and economic effects of the pandemic. It has earmarked $3.1 million for the Health Care Workforce Education pipeline to “support the need for more nurses and additional training with a focus on the expanding educational opportunities to more areas of the state and providing hands-on learning experiences”.
Georgia Southwestern is one of only three institutions in the Georgia University System to receive funding in this area, including Fort Valley State and Central Georgia State.
“We are extremely pleased to be recipients of this funding as GSW strives to expand the existing nursing curriculum and train more nurses,” said GSW President Neal Weaver, Ph.D. “Our local and regional health care partners, including long-term care and acute care facilities, have signaled the need for more registered nurses with associate degrees and a bachelor’s degree, and we’re working to make that happen.
The GSW College of Nursing and Health Sciences has doubled the size of its nursing program over the past two years by adding a new spring admissions cycle. Additionally, GSW will bring back an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree in the fall of 2022. These combined efforts will help meet the demands of the regional and national nursing shortage.
The state funding, in addition to contributions from Phoebe Putney Health System and Magnolia Manor, will go towards three main elements: a new biology lab space to accommodate the increased number of students, a dedicated corps member biology faculty to meet the unique needs of these pre-nursing students and a simulation lab that provides an experience as close to that of the healthcare environment as possible.
The GSW School of Nursing currently offers the traditional bachelor’s degree program, the online RN-BSN and the online master’s degree, and graduates just over 100 nurses each year.
For more information about the GSW Accredited Nursing Program and Nursing Scholarships, please visit www.gsw.edu/nursing, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 229-931- 2275.
About GEER II
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27, 2020. This act provides funding to supplement the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund granted to each state under the old CARES Act, creating a second GEER funding stream, GEER II. The funding was awarded for the purpose of providing local education agencies, higher education institutions and other education-related entities with emergency assistance in response to COVID-19. The total funding available for GEER II for the State of Georgia was $47 million. The second round of GEER II funds will be awarded following the transfer of EANS funds from the Georgia Department of Education and guidance from the US Department of Education.