Mercy College awarded $1.2 million grant

Kathryn Bubrig

Mercy College of Ohio was notified on May 19, 2018, that it has been awarded a $1,200,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

This four-year grant will be used to develop a primary care nursing initiative in collaboration with Mercy Health and other community agencies that support the recruitment, placement, and retention of current and future RNs in the primary care workforce. The demand for primary care is growing as the population ages and the requirements of those with chronic illness increase.

There is a growing need for healthcare providers, including nurses prepared at the Bachelor of Science (BSN) level and higher, to offer this type of care in today’s dynamic healthcare environment. Primary care and prevention are the driving forces for this change. Providing accessible healthcare for all and purposefully promoting wellness and disease prevention will lead to improved health outcomes. 

Elizabeth Sprunk, PhD, RN, CNE, Dean of Nursing and Allied Health at Mercy College said, “The future of nursing education must include a curricular transformation to emphasize primary care and provide a greater diversity of clinical experiences that prepare nurses with the knowledge and skills for roles in a reformed healthcare system. This change in educating nurses will open expanded opportunities in the primary care setting.”  Jodi Pahl, RN-BC, MSN, Chief Nursing Executive for Mercy Health Toledo and Lima adds, “Mercy Health is excited to be a part of advancing the role of RNs in the continuum of care and improving patient experiences and outcomes.”

Mercy College will integrate primary care concepts into three current BSN courses and add a course in Primary Care and Population Health. Clinical experiences in the primary care area will be introduced to students pursuing their BSN. Additionally, professional development in primary care will be provided for faculty and nursing preceptors who will educate BSN students in this integrated approach.

In response to the fact that the demand for nurses has reached levels not seen in 80 years, Mercy College has increased the number of students being accepted into the BSN program to 96 (33% increase) in August of this year. This is in addition to 64 students that will be accepted into the BSN program in January 2019 and 152 students being accepted into the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing program in August 2018. New or transfer students interested in nursing careers or other healthcare fields should visit or call 419-251-1313. Mercy College is part of Mercy Health, Ohio’s largest hospital system allowing premier access to the area’s leading clinical facilities.

Mercy College of Ohio is a Catholic institution sponsored by Mercy Health. It focuses on healthcare and health science programs in both on-campus and online formats. Mercy College offers graduate degrees, bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and certificate programs. More information is available at

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