Georgia Baptist College of Nursing Receives Grant to Improve Workforce Diversity


ATLANTA – Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing was recently awarded a nearly $350,000 grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities who are underrepresented among registered nurses. The HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is one of 13 nursing programs across the country to receive this grant.

The funding, authorized under Title VIII, Section A21 of the Public Health Service Act, will support the College’s Dedicated to Diversity (D2D) project. Funding will extend over a one-year budget period and focus on retention of nursing students through student stipends, scholarships and opportunities for mentorship and partnerships. In addition, the grant provides academic and peer support.

“It gives me great pleasure to express my enthusiastic support for the Dedicated to Diversity project,” said Dr. Linda A. Streit, dean of the College. “Our nursing program is strongly committed to improving the retention of our diverse nursing student population. The proposed aims listed in this project are truly innovative and they reflect the mission of the University, as well as Georgia Baptist College of Nursing.”

Dr. Lanell M. Bellury, associate professor, will serve as the principal investigator and project director for the grant, which involves collaboration with the Department of Public Health in Mercer’s College of Health Professions as well as the Atlanta Black Nurses Association.

The D2D project will support up to 20 qualified undergraduate students who evidence strong academic potential as well as economic need.

“The Dedicated to Diversity project will heighten the overall cultural awareness within the College to one which can make positive strides toward cultivating diversity in the profession of nursing,” said Dr. Bellury. “Overall, the project aims to provide support to facilitate the success and retention of our students.”

This project is supported by the HRSA under grant number D19HP29808, Nursing Workforce Diversity Program, for $349,650. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

About Health Resources and Services Administration

HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care by strengthening the healthcare workforce, building healthy communities and achieving health equity. HRSA’s programs provide health care to people who are geographically isolated, economically or medically vulnerable.

About the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing

Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the oldest nursing program in Georgia. Over its 114-year history, the College has graduated more than 7,700 nurses. The College remains dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer University in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Ph.D. in nursing. The College of Nursing is one of four academic units within the Mercer Health Sciences Center.

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.