The office of U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) recently announced that $500,000 for the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing is included in the federal fiscal year 2010 budget.The proposal recently was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. If enactment of the FY2010 budget takes place, the money will be part of a $5.2 million allocation for health and education projects for the state of Illinois through the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations. The allocation would enhance the regional initiative by providing funding to hire nursing faculty and staff, implement a marketing and recruitment plan and purchase sophisticated patient simulators for the nursing programs foundation courses. The SIUE baccalaureate nursing program will be headed by Marcia Maurer, dean of the SIUE School of Nursing, who points out it will be identical the program offered on the Edwardsville campus. Applicants interested in SIUEs nursing program at SIUC can enroll in a pre-nursing curriculum during their freshman year at Carbondale, Maurer said. Since the SIUE School of Nursing-fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-is the official home of the program, a BSN would be conferred by SIUE even though a student is taking program classes at SIU Carbondale. The SIUE School of Nursing is a well established program on the Edwardsville campus, recently achieving 10-year reaccreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The regional and national need for qualified, well-trained nurses inspired the School of Nursing in Edwardsville, the official home of the program, to work closely with its sister campus to introduce the regional option.