The College of Nursing has been awarded a three year grant for $970,405 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support The Caring for Our Own Project (CO-OP). The grant will increase nursing education opportunities for individuals from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, specifically American Indian students from rural Montana. CO-OP students will be prepared to deliver better access to high quality, culturally competent health care for underserved populations.

The project is consistent with the goals of Healthy People 2020 in that a better prepared health care work force committed to serving a disadvantaged population can work toward the elimination of health disparities and to help increase life expectancy and improve the quality of life. CO-OP is designed to provide the needed support to students as they progress through the undergraduate nursing curriculum thus increasing retention through graduation by providing pre-entry preparation, retention activities, and stipends to eligible students.