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Drexels Patricia Dunphy Suplee Awarded Over 1 Million to Solve Nursing Shortage Challenges

September 4, 2007

Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions’ (CNHP) faculty member, Patricia Dunphy Suplee Ph.D., CNS, RNC has received more than $1 million in four grants to address two of the largest problems facing the nursing industry—a shortage of nursing faculty to educate aspiring healthcare professionals and a lack of ethnic diversity in the field.

Suplee received a total of $874,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to increase nursing education opportunities for minorities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. According to HRSA, only two percent of the current nursing workforce is Latino or Hispanic and only five percent is African American.

Drexel will use the grants to expose high school juniors and seniors to nursing careers, with students from three Philadelphia high schools participating in an internship program. The funds will also provide both academic and financial support for minority transfer students to Drexel CNHP as well as scholarships for disadvantaged students.

“Our goal is to create innovative programs that will draw the very best minority students into the nursing profession in order to meet the country’s diversifying healthcare needs,” Suplee said.

Suplee was also awarded two grants from the Pennsylvania Workforce Investment Board. The grants will be used to mentor new nursing faculty and support them in the use of new technologies used by students during clinical experiences. Totaling $176,000 the funds are part of Gov. Rendell’s $3.6 million investment to expand nursing education opportunities across Pennsylvania, which has the second highest elderly population in the U.S., according to the Geriatric Education Center of Pennsylvania.

Suplee, of Medford, NJ, is the Assistant Dean of Special Projects and an assistant professor. She holds a BSN from Indiana University in Indiana, an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania with a primary focus in perinatal nursing, and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Suplee has been the recipient of several awards including the prestigious Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from Drexel University and the Provost Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Faculty Teaching Award from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include nursing education outcomes, curriculum development and enhancement, and childbearing in women of advanced maternal age.

The Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions enrolls approximately 3,000 students. The College includes many programs in a variety of health disciplines, 120 full-time faculty and affiliations with some of the finest health care institutions in the U.S. The College program’s are designed to build knowledge, improve practice and culturally competent care, foster professional integrity, and ultimately improve the health outcomes of patients, families and communities across the continuum of care. For more information on Drexel University or other programs in Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions, visit


News Media Contact: Brian Rossiter, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-2705, 267-228-5599 (cell) or

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