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FAQ: Nursing Workforce Diversity Program

Funding Opportunity Number: HRSA-21-020

Eligibility and Application Submission


  1. Is national nursing accreditation required to apply to this program?

    Yes. We require national nursing accreditation.

    You must provide documentation of current accreditation by a recognized body or bodies or by a state agency approved for such purpose by the U.S. Department of Education.

  2. We are in the process of working towards national accreditation. Is application eligibility limited to programs with national accreditation or is approval from our state Board of Nursing sufficient?

    If we have “reasonable assurance” that the U.S. Department of Education will accredit your program before the academic year begins, you may be eligible.

    Please refer to Page 20 of the funding opportunity for more information on national accreditation.

    You must submit a Letter of Reasonable Assurance from the U.S. Department of Education with your application. Contact the Department of Education:

    U.S. Department of Education
    Accreditation Group


  1. Are graduate degree nursing programs eligible to apply or is this program only for undergraduate degree nursing programs?

    The NWD program supports registered nursing education at all levels. 

    For all nursing programs, you must meet the project participant criteria and be from a disadvantaged background. This includes racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented among registered nurses.

  2. Are Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) programs eligible to apply for this program?

    LPN programs are eligible if

    1. they have a bridge program and articulation agreement with an accredited school of nursing/nursing program that confers degrees; and
    2. participants are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) once they complete the degree and grant programs.
  3. I want to apply to the NWD program to assist with my nursing education and reduce the burden of my student loans. How do I apply?

    Individuals are not eligible to apply for NWD grant awards. 

    Review our loan repayment and scholarship programs.

  4. Are current NWD award recipients eligible to apply for the NWD program?

    Yes. Current NWD awardees may apply to the FY 2021 NWD program.

Application submission

  1. Are you offering an application submission extension due to COVID-19?

    You may request an extension if your organization is unable to submit an application by the published NOFO deadline due to justified circumstances (such as impacts from COVID-19).

    Refer to the SF-424 Application Guide (PDF - 673 KB) on pages 14-15 and 48.

    Note: Only HRSA's Division of Grants Policy (DGP) in the Office of Federal Assistance Management may authorize grant extensions.

  2. In which systems must a planned sub-recipient be registered at the time of submission? 

    Sub-recipients must have an active System for Award Management (SAM) and Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Review: How to Complete Mandatory Registrations.

    New applicants may submit an application without a valid SAM registration.

    For further details go to the HRSA COVID-19 website.

  3. My institution has a main campus and regional campuses with schools of nursing at all of the campuses. If all of the campuses share the same DUNS number although operate separately, are we limited to one application?

    Eligible applicants may submit only one application to this NOFO. We don’t allow multiple applications from any single organization.

    We define an organization as having a valid DUNS number or Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). 

Programmatic Questions

Project Personnel

  1. The NOFO states that applicants must identify only one Project Director (PD), who must be a licensed registered nurse. Do you allow Co-PDs? Are there specific qualifications for that person?

    • You may not split the PD position between two Co-PDs. 
    • You must identify one person as the PD.
    • You may designate a Co-PD as necessary for the proposed project.

Program Requirements

  1. Do applicants have to implement all of the evidence-based strategies?

    Yes. Each applicant must implement all evidence-based strategies and all elements associated with them as listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

    Evidence-based strategies include

    • student support services,
    • faculty recruitment and retention,
    • mentoring, student financial support,
    • holistic review; and
    • collaborative partnerships.
  2. What organizations provide new or continued training and technical assistance with regards holistic review and diversity training?

    Several organizations provide this training. 

    In the NOFO, we list these organizations:

    • American Association of College of Nursing (AACN)
    • National League for Nursing (NLN)
    • Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)

Priorities and Preferences

Funding Factors

  1. Can applicants receive more than one funding preference?

    Applicants can submit supporting documentation for multiple funding preferences.

    However, after verification, we will only apply one funding preference the application.

Clinical Priorities

  1. Can an application focus on more than one clinical priority?

    Yes. We encourage you to select and address one or more of the HHS and HRSA clinical priorities, as applicable to the proposed project. 

Budget and Grants Management Questions

Allowable costs

  1. Does the funding mechanism provide budgetary support for recruitment of underserved students?

    Yes. The recruitment of students is an allowable cost under this NOFO.

  2. Is faculty overload or release time an allowable cost?

    No, faculty release time is not allowable. 

    Compensation for personnel services cover all amounts, including fringe benefits, paid currently or accrued by the organization for employee services rendered to the grant-supported project or program.

    Compensation costs are allowable to the extent that they are reasonable, conform to the established policy of the organization, consistently applied regardless of the source of funds, and reflect no more than the percentage of time actually devoted to the HHS Operating Division (OPDIV) funded project or program. 

    Where restricted by language in the HHS appropriations act, OPDIVs will not reimburse recipients for the direct salaries of individuals at a rate in excess of the level specified. 

    Direct salary is exclusive of fringe benefits and indirect costs. If there is a salary limitation, it does not apply to consultant payments or to contracts for routine goods and services, but it does apply to sub-recipients (including consortium participants).

Budget Ceiling Amounts

  1. Is the ceiling amount that can be requested a total of $555,000 per year for each year of the award? 

    You may request up to $555,000 per budget period. Each budget period consists of 12-month intervals.

    The project period consists of the total time of the approved project. The NWD project period is four years.

    Applicants may request up to $555,000 for each budget year within the four-year project period for a total of $2,220,000. 

  2. Is there a cap on the percentage that can be awarded for scholarships through this grant?

    No. The NOFO does NOT restrict the amount of student financial support that may be provided to assist individual students. 

    The only student financial support CAP in the NOFO is the 30%, where 30% of the total annual budget must be dedicated to student financial support.

Performance Measures, Work Plan, & Logic Models

  1. Several of the hyperlinks with the NOFO are not working. Are there updated hyperlinks?

    We realize there have been issues with some of the links in the NOFO. Here are the work plan template, logic model, and performance measures:

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