Nursing receives largest federal grant in University history

More than $1.1 million awarded to MIDAS program | July 18, 2005

Xavier University’s newest nursing program is receiving more than $1.1 million from the Health and Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the largest federal grant in the University’s history.

The grant was awarded through HRSA’s Nurse Education, Practice and Retention (NEPR) program, which addresses the nursing shortage by funding projects that strengthen and enhance the capacity for educating and retaining nurses. Xavier applied under the Career Ladder track, which supports the career and educational advancement of nursing personnel.

The money, which is being distributed over a three-year period, helps fund the new Master of Science in Nursing: Direct Entry as a Second Degree (MIDAS) program. The grant supports faculty teaching new and enhanced courses in the MIDAS program, and covers expenses including student recruitment efforts and project evaluation.

Xavier’s nursing program also received a $26,000 traineeship grant from HRSA, which is being used to pay for scholarships for MIDAS students.

“This very generous grant will allow our students to make a tremendous contribution to our community,” says University President Michael J. Graham, S.J. “The care that they will provide as nurses is vital and the impact they will make is lasting to the people they will serve.”

The MIDAS program is geared towards individuals who have undergraduate degrees in fields other than nursing but who want to become a registered nurse. The program is also the only one in Ohio tied to the new emerging health care role of clinical nurse leader. The pioneering program is approved by the Ohio Board of Nursing.

“We’re pleased to offer this innovative program as a ladder into exciting nursing careers,” says Susan Schmidt, nursing department chair. “It truly is a golden program as we link national nursing initiatives with our outstanding local partners. We are very appreciative of the generous federal support for this program, which underscores its quality and helps us to achieve our visions for the future of healthcare.”

Xavier is partnering with TriHealth, Summit Behavioral Healthcare, Cincinnati Veterans Administrations Hospital, Children’s Hospital Medical Center and St. Luke Hospital in Kentucky for the MIDAS program.

Students who complete the two-year full-time program graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing and are eligible to sit for the National Licensure Examination to become a registered nurse.

They take study topics such as clinical outcomes management of illness, diseases, evidence-based practice, health promotion and disease prevention. Once the students have passed they complete a 12-week clinical residency.

Students are also trained in the new emerging health care role of clinical nurse leader (CNL).

“The CNL role is a national response to the health care needs of individuals and families at the point of care,” says Schmidt. “A CNL registered nurse will be able to assess a patient’s needs by looking at the whole picture and then provide coordinated care for that patient. This is especially important as healthcare systems are becoming increasingly complex.”

Classes for the MIDAS program begin this fall. Applications are now being accepted. An information session about MIDAS is being held Wednesday, Aug., 3 at 6:00 p.m. in the Schiff Family Conference Center located in the Cintas Center on the University campus. Reservations are recommended, but not required.

To learn more or to register call 513 745-3814 or visit the department's web site at