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School of Nursing receives grant to advance care in rural areas

The School of Nursing at NDSU has received a federal grant award that will help educate future health care professionals that serve rural areas. 

The Health Workforce Grant Award of $151,200 provides scholarships for students enrolled in NDSU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice/Family Nurse Practitioner program. The traineeship grant funds allow NDSU to promote clinical education in rural and other areas where there are shortages of health care professionals.

NDSU assistant professors of nursing Dean Gross and Mykell Barnacle developed the competitive grant proposal to promote healthcare workforce development. The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded the Advance Education Nursing Traineeship funding.

“As the state’s land-grant university, one of our goals is to prepare students to serve as health professionals in rural areas,” said Carla Gross, associate dean of NDSU’s School of Nursing and Fargo site chair in the College of Health Professions.

The NDSU School of Nursing provides advanced nursing training in Fargo and at the NDSU School of Nursing at Sanford Health in Bismarck. Since 2004, more than 90 percent of NDSU’s advanced practice graduates in nursing remain within 230 miles of their training, helping to serve rural areas.

“The traineeship grant opportunity is expected to lead to an increase in the number of doctor of nursing practice and family nurse practitioner students who seek jobs in rural areas or other areas where there are shortages of health professionals,” said Carla Gross.

Traineeship funds for eligible students cover tuition based on the percentage of time spent in qualifying clinical rotations in rural or health professional shortage areas during the grant period. Scholarships range from $4,000 to $8,000 per semester during the grant period of July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017. Eligible students participate in training in rural clinics or at an Indian Health Services Clinic.

“Historically, we have noted that students who participate in clinical rotations in rural or health professional short areas have an increased likelihood to seek employment in those areas,” said Carla Gross. “Since the inception of NDSU’s family nurse practitioner program in 2001, more than 50 percent of our graduates are employed in clinics in rural or health professional shortage areas.”

The Health Resources and Services Administration announced grants to 69 advanced nursing programs that support training advanced practice nurses, emphasizing their critically important role in delivering primary health services.

“By encouraging partnerships among academic institutions, clinicians, health care sites and public health entities, we can improve health outcomes in underserved communities,” said Health Resources and Services Administration Acting Administrator Jim Macrae in announcing the awards.

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