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The William Randolph Hearst Foundation has awarded the University of Southern California School of Social Work a $200 000 grant to help recruit students to the first-ever Nurse Social Work Practitioner degree program. The grant will fund scholarships for nurses who want to pursue a new area of specialty practice that combines nursing with core social work skills.


The 2-year program, which grants graduates a specialized master's degree in social work with a case management certificate, is designed to broaden a nurse's knowledge base and practice in both case management and a chosen area of concentration. The curriculum uses a series of classes and immersion experiences to introduce students to a community-based social work perspective that conveys the range of social welfare problems and programs and the diversity and complexity of human behavior. The second year of the program emphasizes interdisciplinary studies focused on a concentration area, case management, and leadership.


"The blended nurse social worker is skilled at bringing personal strengths and social resources to the forefront so individuals, families and groups are empowered to have their needs met and interests fostered," said Maryalice Jordan-Marsh, Interim Director of the Nurse Social Work Practitioner Program. "When catastrophic events like Hurricane Katrina or a diagnosis of a terminal illness occur, the system's inefficiencies create stress and a waste of resources. The nurse social work practitioner approaches the situation with a holistic framework that assumes the individual and family have strengths and their environment has adequate social capital."


The school will hold the graduation of its first class of nurse social work practitioners this May. Applications are currently being accepted for the fall semester. For admission application or scholarship information, please contact Richette Bell at