Funds Set to Boost Primary Care Nursing Workforce in the Region
The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) division of Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) has awarded $2.8 million to Roseman University’s College of Nursing to recruit and train undergraduate nursing students and current Registered Nurses to practice to the full scope of their license in community-based primary care settings.
Roseman’s College of Nursing will implement a Registered Nurses in Primary Care (RNPC) training program in order to achieve a sustainable primary care nursing workforce equipped with the competencies necessary to address pressing national public health issues; even the distribution of the nursing workforce; improve access to care; and improve population health outcomes.
The training programs will be implemented at both the Roseman University Nevada and Utah campuses and the surrounding communities within rural and underserved areas thereby supporting the initiatives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2020.
Undergraduate nursing students will be provided with in-depth information and knowledge concerning community-based primary care initiatives; chronic disease prevention strategies; healthcare needs of vulnerable and underserved populations; rural healthcare; mental health and substance abuse conditions; childhood obesity; and the need for inter-professional healthcare collaboration.
According to Dr. Jené Hurlbut, Roseman College of Nursing professor serving as project director and principal investigator, students identified as RNPC undergraduate students will receive clinical training within the fundamentals of nursing and community mental health nursing blocks. The training will occur at facilities that are located in areas that are designated medically underserved with a focus on primary care. Additionally, RNPC students will have an opportunity to complete their practicum in an underserved primary care setting.
The Roseman College of Nursing has clinical affiliations with William Bee Ririe Critical Access Hospital and Rural Health Clinic in Ely, Nevada, Tsehootsooi Medical Center in Fort Defiance, Arizona, and a partnership with the Utah Center for Rural Health who will facilitate clinical experiences in rural areas of Utah, yielding graduates ready to practice in community-based primary care teams that impact rural and underserved populations. It is anticipated that additional clinical affiliation agreements will be added in both Nevada and Utah to further support the increase in RNPC students in coming years.
Hurlbut says, Roseman College of Nursing will collaborate with county health departments and other health organizations that support inter-professional team competencies to be able to offer a robust array of training for practicing RNs. These professional development trainings will address primary care competencies, leadership training, healthcare needs of rural and underserved populations, chronic disease prevention, and various mental health topics.
“The provision of healthcare is changing from an exclusive acute care focus, to one that encompasses a community and primary care context. Nursing education needs to reflect these trends and prepare graduates to meet the future demands of healthcare, including those of underserved and rural populations,” said Hurlbut. “It is exciting that the HRSA grant will allow us to create a sustainable model that can be shared with other nursing education programs.”