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This evening Governor Jay Nixon (D) signed HB 233 into law in a ceremony at Missouri Boys State on the stage at Hendricks Hall on the campus of the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.

HB 233 will, in part, help Missouri university nursing programs hire additional faculty to help address a nursing shortage in the state.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) (seated, center) signs HB 233 surrounded by Missouri Boys State citizens (left) and

Dr. Julie Clawson, Professor of Nursing and Chair of the Nursing Department at the University of Central Missouri

and Dr. Charles Ambrose, President of the University of Central Missouri (right).

The release from the Governor Jay Nixon’s office:

June 16, 2011

House Bill 223 becomes law in front of 933 high school students selected to attend 2011 Missouri Boys State

Gov. Nixon signs bill to increase scholarships for math and science students, provide resources to train more nurses

WARRENSBURG, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon today used the setting of a leadership program for high school students to sign legislation that provides more scholarships to Missouri students pursuing college degrees in science and math. House Bill 223, signed by the Governor in front of more than 900 students attending Missouri Boys State, also puts additional resources in Missouri’s nursing programs to meet the growing demand for nurses.

“We want to make sure that we’re preparing our students to enter careers where they can be successful in a changing economy,” Gov. Nixon said. “We can do that by identifying industries poised for growth, and aligning our curriculum priorities to meet those needs. Engineers, scientists, innovators and educators play a key role in our global economy. By promoting, encouraging and supporting these core subjects, we can better prepare Missouri’s college students to be competitive in our global economy.”

The section adding resources so Missouri’s colleges and universities can produce more nurses is also critical, the Governor said.

“Missouri needs more nurses, and this bill will help meet that demand,” Gov. Nixon said. “It provides up to $150,000 to each of those programs so they can hire additional faculty to train more nurses. Once it is fully in place, we expect to train more than 130 additional nursing students each year.”

House Bill 223, the Advanced Placement Incentive Grant Program for STEM and Caring for Missourians Nursing Education Incentive, passed both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support.

The legislation establishes a one-time, nonrenewable $500 grant to Missouri public high schools who score a 3 or higher on AP tests in math or science, and who receive an Access Missouri award or A+ scholarship.

This legislation also creates grants up to $150,000 per year, per campus, to higher education institutions to hire nursing faculty to address areas of need. These grants will be funded by dollars generated through nursing licensure fees; the State Board of Nursing and the Department of Higher Education will determine categories and criteria for these grants. Gov. Nixon first announced the proposed initiative last December at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Nursing.

“I’ve brought that legislation here today to demonstrate that when we stand together on common ground, we can provide for the common good,” Gov. Nixon told the students attending Boys State. “Take the lessons you learn this week about governing, and put them to work in your own lives and careers.”

Missouri Boys State, founded in 1938, is a citizenship and leadership training program held annually in June for high school students who have completed their junior year. Missouri Boys State is sponsored by the Missouri American Legion.