Apply Today: Largest Ever-Nurse Faculty Loan Program Award

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies was awarded $676,000 to distribute to nursing students pursuing doctoral and master’s degrees who plan to be future nurse faculty. Priority is given to doctoral students in the award.

The Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP) 2018-2019 award amount is the largest in UMKC history. The program, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, offers partial loan forgiveness for borrowers who graduate and serve as full-time nursing faculty for the prescribed time period. The loan recipients can cancel 85 percent of the loan over four years in return for serving full time equivalents as faculty in any accredited school of nursing.

Dean Ann Cary is the principal investigator on the grant.  For more information please contact Ms. Deidre Ashley (816-235-1723 or

Online Graduate Nursing Program Earns High Ranking – Again!

The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Nursing and Health Studies ranked No. 19 among the nation’s best online graduate nursing programs of 2019 by U.S. News and World Report, giving it at least a Top 25 ranking for the seventh year in a row.

UMKC’s ranking, released today, is the highest of any university in Missouri. Last year, UMKC also ranked high at No. 18. No other program in Missouri or Kansas ranked higher.

“Our faculty, staff and students are to be commended for creating something truly extraordinary: nationally ranked online advanced nursing programs,” said Ann Cary, dean of the school. “This is filling a critical need in workforce education and a critical need in treating patients.”

The UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies is a pioneer in distance-learning programs, offering online advanced degree programs since 2002. The programs offer busy professionals a high-quality but convenient way to further their careers and meet the needs of an evolving health-care system.

The UMKC online graduate nursing program certainly fills the needs of Brandie Smith, a single mother of three school-age children who works full time as a labor-and-delivery nurse at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. She graduated in 2015 from the UMKC accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program so she knew about the highly-ranked online graduate nursing programs at UMKC. She plans to graduate with a Doctor of Nursing Practice in Women’s Health in 2023, with the goal of conducting global research as a nurse practitioner who studies and teaches about treatment of diseases.

“The program allows you to go at your own pace without taking time away from family or work,” Smith said. “It’s not easy by any means – I spend 20 to 30 hours a week working on the degree. But there are great mentors, everyone is positive and encouraging…it’s a community.”

Online students are expected to participate in online discussions as if they are present in the classroom. Technology offers two-way communication in real time via multiple modes. Students also experience on-site learning through summer institutes where they are required to attend clinical training or dissertation work sessions, and deliver presentations to classmates and faculty.

UMKC offers a variety of online graduate nursing tracks, including Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and other options:

U.S. News began ranking online education in 2012. The categories include faculty credentials and training; student engagement; admissions selectivity; peer reputation; and student services and technology. U.S. News began their data comparisons with more than 500 institutions that had accredited graduate degree programs in nursing. Among the ones that replied, 159 said they offered online graduate nursing programs. The number of online nursing programs is continually growing nationwide.

Story by: Stacy Downs, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Welcoming the 116th Congress on Capitol Hill

One of our very own Deans, who also serves as Board Chair to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Dr. Ann Cary, was part of the team that had the opportunity to celebrate the commencement of the 116th Congress and met with more than 35 Members of Congress to educate the new congress on nursing education and research policy and legislation. These meetings included House and Senate Nursing Caucus Co-Chairs and Vice Co-Chairs, Congressional Leadership, and the newest nurse in Congress, Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14).

Congratulations to the School of Nursing and Health Studies Fall 2018 Graduates

The School of Nursing and Health Studies would like to congratulate all of our Fall 2018 graduates. We are very proud of your accomplishment and grateful to be a helping hand on your journey to make an indelible impact in local, regional, national, and global healthcare.

This semester we graduated 28 Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, 68 Bachelor of Health Sciences students, 26 Master of Science in Nursing students, 13 Graduate Certificate/POST-MSN Certificate students, 1 Doctor of Nursing Practice student and 4 Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing students.

A special congratulations goes to our very own Michele Baker, whom was nominated by BHS faculty, Dr. Amanda Grimes, Dr. Renee Semarge and Dr. Susan Garrett for the Dean of Students Honor. Michele proved to be a devout leader among her peers, while sustaining high academic achievements.

We are certain that all of our graduates training and hard-work will benefit many. We wish you all well!

School of Nursing Fights Opioid Crisis

Expanding access to medication-assisted treatment in North Carolina. Providing training to drug court officials in Puerto Rico. Helping a Rhode Island grandmother start a support program for grandparents raising their grandchildren as a result of the opioid crisis.

All the above are projects the Collaborative to Advance Health Services has been collaborating on an $8 million sub award from the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) with a grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to combat the opioid crisis. The Collaborative to Advance Health Services, a research group within the UMKC School of Nursing and Health Studies, was a sub-recipient of a grant awarded last February to AAAP.

The grant allows a consortium, led by AAAP and through a partnership with the Collaborative to Advance Health Services, to provide technical assistance in addressing the opioid crisis. The term “technical assistance” refers to a variety of activities, including planning, training, coaching and raising awareness. The goal is to develop sustainable solutions for opioid-related issues within a community.

The Consortium takes requests from all 50 states and 7 U.S territories and their STR grantees as well as organizations and individuals.

“They really are community-oriented and on-the-ground requests, and I think that was a really good strategy to address, maybe, some barriers that communities are facing,” said Dr. Holly Hagle, an assistant research professor and co-director of the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network Coordinating Office, a project housed at the Collaborative to Advance Health Services .

The Consortium handles a diverse range of requests. These unique needs are met by tailoring strategies to the communities they serve. For example, in New Jersey, it is implementing substance use prevention curricula in 13 private schools in the Orthodox Jewish community.

Even though the grant’s scope is nationwide, its impact is visible at the local level as well. The Collaborative to Advance Health Sciences has provided consultation for different projects in the Kansas City area, including the development of a recovery high school and a model recovery community. It has also received a request from a professor at the UMKC School of Medicine to provide training for students.

Although the State Targeted Response Technical Assistance (STR-TA) grant allows the Consortium to respond in a variety of ways, there is an overall focus on expanding evidence-based practices in the prevention, treatment and recovery, particularly medication-assisted treatment (MAT) of opioid use disorders and behavioral health practices.

“Addressing discrimination and lack of knowledge in communities about what could help people immediately, like [overdose-reversal drug] Naloxone and medication and access to care, is a large part of this initiative,” Hagle said.

Misunderstandings and myths can make it difficult for people with an opioid addiction to get the help they need, but recovery is a goal the Collaborative to Advance Health Services views as being entirely possible.

“They can sustain all their hopes and dreams with proper care and treatment, and we just want to make that accessible,” Hagle said.

By their work, the Collaborative to Advance Health Services is making UMKC a vital part of developing recovery resources in Kansas City and beyond.

“Through this project, we really put UMKC in a central role in the federal government’s effort to respond to the opioid epidemic,” said Laurie Krom, program director for the Collaborative to Advance Health Services.