$700K to increase primary care nurses, accommodate flood of new patients

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As an aging society and healthcare reform will dramatically increase the demand for primary care services, nurses are expected to bridge the gap in provider demand and supply. In recognition of the West Virginia University School of Nursing’s commitment to educating primary care nurse practitioners, the School has been awarded a ‘historic’ $700,000 grant to support advanced practice nursing education.

“Nurse practitioners play a critical role in improving access to primary care, especially in rural and underserved areas,” Georgia L. Narsavage, Ph.D., dean of the WVU School of Nursing, said. “The coming increase in healthcare coverage, the accelerating move toward preventive care and the need to reduce healthcare costs are driving efforts to increase accessibility to primary care services for everyone. Advanced practice nurses are already in high demand to meet the need. ”

WVU edged out nursing schools from across the country to secure the competitive Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) from the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The two-year AENT grant will provide stipend support to selected students who are in their last years of full-time or part-time study in the primary care segment of the Master of Science in Nursing program. Approximately 36 students will receive scholarship funding from this grant.

“The ultimate goal, as established by HRSA, is to increase the number of primary care providers. This financial support will enable students to cut back on their employment, concentrate on coursework, graduate and enter the primary care workforce,” Alvita Nathaniel, Ph.D., associate professor at the School of Nursing’s Charleston Division and the grant’s project director, said.

“Concerns over the adequacy of the primary care workforce have led policy makers to invest in the training of advanced practice registered nurses, as well as new ways to organize and deliver much needed medical services.”

This year’s AENT grant is the greatest, yet second, of its kind WVU’s nursing program has received. In 2010, the School of Nursing was awarded nearly $1 million to support 25 students over five years.

The School was also one of just 55 programs to receive 2012-2013 funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) prestigious New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) program. The award provides five, $10,000 scholarships for WVU students in the School’s accelerated baccalaureate nursing program for college graduates who wish to pursue a second career in nursing. Launched by RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the program aims to help alleviate the nation’s nursing shortage by dramatically expanding the number of students in accelerated nursing programs. To date, the School of Nursing has awarded 20 NCIN scholarships to students from groups traditionally underrepresented in nursing or from disadvantaged backgrounds.

For more information about the WVU School of Nursing and its programs, please visit http://nursing.hsc.wvu.edu/Pages.

To learn more about HRSA’s AENT program, go to http://bhpr.hrsa.gov/nursing/grants/aent.html.

-- WVU --
For more information: For More Information:
lal: 10-12-12