Affordable Care Act assists with efforts to expand primary care providers

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Nursing recently received $950,400 in federal funding that will allow 25 graduate students to complete the Family Nurse Practitioner program. The grant is intended to prepare health care workers to meet the needs of an increasing number of patients who will have insurance once health care reform is implemented. WVU is the only nursing school in the state to receive this grant.

“Addressing our nation’s shortage of key health professionals is critical – this funding will prepare advanced practice nurses who are vital to the health of rural West Virginians,” WVU School of Nursing Dean Georgia Narsavage, Ph.D., R.N., said. “Nurse practitioners prepared through our on-line distance education program will be a tremendous help to communities around the state.”

Alvita Nathaniel, Ph.D., R.N., of the Charleston division of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center, teaches advanced nursing practice students there. She said students in the program will receive a stipend of $22,000 per year that will allow them to attend school full-time and finish one year sooner.

This grant is part of $253 million intended to improve and expand the primary care workforce under the Prevention and Public Health Fund of the Affordable Care Act, passed in March by Congress. Another $67 million in Health Profession Opportunity Grants will help low-income individuals prepare to enter and advance in careers in the healthcare sector.

A recruitment video postcard about advanced practice nursing at the WVU School of Nursing is available in DVD format from the school and can also be viewed on YouTube at

Learn more about the WVU School of Nursing online at

For more information: Kim Fetty, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
kf: 09-28-10