SHU College of Nursing Receives $2.6M Grant

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded Sacred Heart University’s Dr. Susan L. Davis R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing (DHCON) a $2.6 million grant. The funds will help increase the number of primary care and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners available to work in medically underserved areas.

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a Department of Health and Human Services agency, awarded the nursing education grant as part of its effort to increase the number of nurses in urban and rural settings. The HRSA is the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable.

“Each patient’s unique needs are important and may be shaped by their culture, ethnicity and socioeconomic status,” said Cynthia O’Sullivan, associate dean of academic affairs and global nursing at SHU. “Nurses are taught from the very beginning of their education that all patients deserve to be treated with dignity and respect—it is part of our ethical standards.”

The grant will provide financial aid to full- and part-time SHU students in an advanced nursing education program who are on track to becoming certified as primary care nurse practitioners or psychiatric nurse practitioners at the doctorate, master’s or post-master’s level.

To be eligible, students must have at least a 3.2 grade point average, their registered nurse license and an interest and willingness to participate in training modules pertaining to pain management, cultural diversity and social determinants of health.

The grant will enable the DHCON to provide up to $25,000 each to eight eligible full-time students and up to $15,000 each to 18 qualified part-time students annually for the next four years.

The University anticipates the project will increase enrollment in family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner programs and the proportion of diverse, disadvantaged and underrepresented students preparing to enter those fields.

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $2,599,895 with 0% percentage financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please visit

Visit the grant’s webpage to learn more. 


About Sacred Heart University

As the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, and one of the fastest-growing private doctoral institutions in the U.S., Sacred Heart University is a national leader in shaping higher education for the 21st century. SHU offers nearly 90 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its Fairfield, Conn., campus. Sacred Heart also has a campus in Dingle, Ireland, and offers online programs. More than 10,000 students attend the University’s nine colleges and schools: Arts & Sciences; Communication, Media & the Arts; Social Work; Computer Science & Engineering; Health Professions; the Isabelle Farrington College of Education & Human Development; the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology; the Dr. Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing; and St. Vincent’s College. Sacred Heart stands out from other Catholic institutions as it was established and led by laity. The contemporary Catholic university is rooted in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition and the liberal arts, and at the same time cultivates students to be forward thinkers who enact change—in their own lives, professions and in their communities. The Princeton Review includes SHU in its Best 388 Colleges–2023 Edition, and Best Business Schools–2023 Edition. Sacred Heart is home to the award-winning, NPR-affiliated radio station, WSHU, a Division I athletics program and an impressive performing arts program that includes choir, band, dance and theatre.

Submitted by Fairfield, CT

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