Wayne State University

$1.9 million HRSA grant awarded to WSU College of Nursing to enhance advanced practice nursing education

WSU’s College of Nursing was recently awarded a three-year $1.9 million Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Advanced Nursing Education (ANE) grant to enhance advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) clinical education and to address the demand for an increased primary care nurse practitioner workforce. The college is one of only 17 institutions nationwide to receive the grant. 

Explaining the need for more primary care nurses, project director Dr. Nancy George said, “In Michigan, there is a rapidly changing landscape of primary care practice. We have an aging population and more than 600,000 newly insured individuals putting increasing demands on our primary care system.” 

The college will partner with the Michigan Area Health Education Center (MI-AHEC) and the Saginaw Valley State University Department of Nursing as well as health centers in Wayne, Saginaw, Houghton and Lapeer Counties, all of which are federally designated health-provider shortage areas, to enhance Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) level Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) training. FNPs are qualified to provide primary care to patients.

“Two of the four regions are urban, two are rural; however, they all experience maldistribution of health services, socioeconomic and ethnic based health disparities, and a shrinking healthcare workforce,” said Dean Laurie Lauzon Clabo, who recently chaired the American Association of Colleges of Nursing APRN Clinical Training Task Force, and who will serve as a co-investigator on this project. “I am delighted that Dr. George and her team have received this award, which places the WSU College of Nursing at the forefront of national efforts to redesign clinical education for APRNs. This work builds on many of the recommendations of the AACN Task Force and will serve as a model for clinical education for a contemporary APRN workforce, prepared to face 21st century challenges.”   

The entire primary clinical education will take place within the same health center in the community the FNP student lives. That is important, says Dr. George, because, “FNPs who work in underserved primary care locations affect the entire community.” She continued, “And there is evidence that nurse practitioners stay and work in the communities in which they were educated, making them uniquely qualified to fill these gaps and provide primary care.”

In addition to the innovative academic-practice partnership, the project aims to redefine clinical education through immersive clinical experiences and cultural learning modules to enhance readiness to practice, online preceptor training and the use of advanced technology to support distance healthcare delivery.