Nursing education grant

School of Nursing awarded $100,000 to accelerate competency-based education


In December, the Walla Walla University School of Nursing was awarded a $100,000 grant as a part of an initiative launched by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) designed to transform nursing education and practice. The three-year initiative was launched by AACN earlier this year with funding through the American Nurses Foundation’s Reimagining Nursing Initiative.

The grant funding will allow the School of Nursing to introduce new learning strategies and clinical experiences. New supplies and equipment will help the program transition its curriculum to the AACN Essentials and a Competency-Based Curriculum, which has already been begun at WWU. The AACN will also provide technical assistance through March 2025, as well as interim clinical instructors to ensure faculty have time to implement curriculum changes. 

“We will present our progress and our completed project at the main AACN conference in Washington D.C., and we will act as a mentor school for other schools of nursing as they transition their curriculum,” said Michaelynn Paul, interim dean of the School of Nursing and professor of nursing. She added that this grant is a big deal for WWU and the School of Nursing. 

The $100,000 grant required a rigorous application process and was awarded to only 10 schools, including Johns Hopkins University and Texas State University. WWU was the only Seventh-day Adventist university and the only university in the Pacific Northwest to receive the grant. Competency criteria for a school to be selected included person-centered care, quality and safety, and interprofessional partnerships.  

“Changing how we educate nurses and assess their learning, while engaging practice partners more deeply in this process, is the key to preparing more practice-ready nurses,” said Deborah Trautman, AACN president and chief executive officer. “I applaud the 10 schools of nursing selected to participate in this groundbreaking initiative for their commitment to leading change and for sharing their lessons learned and success strategies with nursing schools nationwide.”

In addition, WWU has recieved a $285,000 grant from the Washington Student Achievement Council to fund the modernization of the College Place campus nursing lab with three simulators, a realistic hospital room, and a long-term care room. These upgrades will support the continued excellence in instruction of the university's nursing program, which was voted best in the state for a bachelor's degree in nursing for 2021. 

To learn more about WWU’s nursing program, visit

Posted Dec. 14, 2022.

Nursing students get hands-on experience