VA strives to deliver high-quality, compassionate health care to Veterans across America. We’ve taken great strides to ensure patients living in rural areas have access to a range of care options to best meet their health care needs. Due to VA’s recent “scope of practice” laws—which grant advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) full practice authority—certified nurse practitioners are stepping in to provide primary care to patients in rural areas.
Currently, nurse practitioners account for 1 in 4 medical providers in rural practices—a 43.2% increase from 2008 to 2016. Their advanced training and ability to diagnose and prescribe medicine enables more efficient, cost-effective health care delivery. Joyce Knestrick, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), says “NPs are one of the most significant factors in expanding patient access to primary, acute and specialty care, especially at a time when demand is high and physicians remain concentrated in more urban and affluent areas.”
More and more, nurse practitioners are taking on a significant role in the health care of Veterans in rural areas. Their growing presence demonstrates the wealth of experience, growth and impact available to nurses interested in advancing their careers. Bring your nursing expertise to VA and discover a career in which your capabilities are utilized to the fullest extent—and consider a future serving our honorable Veterans living in rural areas. You’ll enjoy a satisfying quality of life unmatched by metropolitan areas, with all the same comprehensive benefits offered across the VA system. To get started, explore open positions near you and apply.
This story was originally posted on VAntage Point.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing recently received a $91,500 grant from Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) for geriatric and dementia services. The grant was given specifically to the UNMC Geriatric Cognitive and Mental Health Project for Rural Nebraska.
The project is being managed by UNMC assistant professor Dr. Nancy Meier, who teaches adult gerontology and psychiatric mental in the nurse practitioner programs. She explained that many older patients have to travel further for specialized services, which limits their access to care. “One of the reasons for my applying for this grant is that in the 11 Panhandle counties, almost 20 percent of the population is 65 or older,” Dr. Meier told the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. “That means almost 1 in 5 individuals living in the Panhandle are over the age of 65, yet there is really a lack of providers who have specialty in being able to evaluate them from a psychiatric standpoint, as well as geriatric.”
The grant will help Dr. Meier and other UNMC nurse practitioners get trained on performing geriatric assessments and psychiatric evaluations on patients in their own homes, in order to help access to care and help the nurse practitioners better see and understand their patients’ living situations, backgrounds, and other important details.
“I work with them to provide the details on what I think is the problem,” Meier shared with the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. “We are very specific into the needs of that older adult. Our goal is that they will be able to stay longer at home. Our goal is to be able to help them take care of the problem or give them a reference to another provider, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy or the right resource so that they are healthy and stay healthy.”
This grant from WIN is a huge boost for the program, which will also provide caregiver assessments, dementia education, and mobile services. This comes in addition to a four year, $2.6 million grant gifted in July to the UNMC College of Nursing by the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, aimed at improving engagement of registered nurses in patient management.
For more information about the grant awarded to the UNMC Geriatric Cognitive and Mental Health Project for Rural Nebraska, click here.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has recently opened its new state-of-the-art School of Nursing building. With a 72,000-square-foot expansion and renovation, complete with the latest technology-enhanced classrooms and competency labs, the School of Nursing building is already being put to good use by students, faculty and staff alike.
Doreen Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the UAB School of Nursing and Fay B. Ireland endowed Chair in Nursing, says the excitement is evident as everyone discovers how to live and learn in the new facility. “Our students and faculty are learning and collaborating in open, light-filled spaces throughout the day. Classrooms are structured to engage students in flipped classrooms, using video streaming and sharing through computers and other digital devices. Faculty have their own windowed offices rather than working in groups as well as convenient conference rooms for meeting with students throughout the building.”
The technology provided within the new facility is playing a major role in furthering nursing education, research and clinical practice, by providing resources that encourage student engagement and collaboration. Classrooms have device-sharing technology, smartboards, and short throw projectors that allow students to more easily share their screens with instructors and fellow students. The Innovation Collaboratory, a special classroom within the new UAB School of Nursing facility, gives students the chance to share ideas and information through interactive workstations with streaming capabilities.
Jacqueline Moss, Ph.D, Associate Dean for Technology and Innovation in the School of Nursing, says the technology is designed to maximize interaction and engagement of students. “We are able to stream video from simulations happening in our nursing competency suites, from presenters at a distance, and engage with patients where they live. In addition, all classrooms are equipped with device sharing hardware and software that allows students to work in groups and share that work with the entire class by sharing their work on their personal computers.”
These virtual educational experiences made possible by the new technology provide education and professional development, and can be used to reach rural patients through telehealth research and clinical activities. Health care for the medically underserved in rural and urban Alabama will continue to grow and improve as a result.
Dean Harper notes that in addition to gaining new technology and space, the programs within the school are growing in response to the continuous need for highly educated, compassionate and competent nurses. “We have expanded our pre-licensure programs at the baccalaureate and master’s level to accommodate more than 60 new nursing pre-licensure students annually. Likewise, given the critical need for nursing administrators, managers, informaticians and executive leaders, our nursing health care systems major is being tailored to recruit nursing leaders and innovators from across the nation. We have also developed new coursework in perioperative nursing, transplant nursing, design thinking and biomedical informatics research to be offered.”
To learn more about the new, expanded UAB School of Nursing building, click here.
Arizona State University (ASU) and Eastern Arizona College (EAC) have partnered to create a concurrent enrollment program that allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree from ASU while studying at EAC’s campus in Thatcher, Arizona.
The partnership between EAC and ASU, called the EAC-ASU Baccalaureate Nursing Program, allows students to take class for both their associate and bachelor’s degrees at the same time. It is a quicker, cheaper, and more flexible option than other traditional nursing education tracks, offering hybrid courses that allow students to do their work online at their own pace but ask professors questions in person.
Program director Carolyn McCormies tells ASUNow.ASU.edu, “Research shows that patient outcomes are better when nurses have a higher level of education, but many nurses with associate degrees find it very difficult to go back to school once they start working or have families. Our graduates have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree along with their associate. The whole community benefits from having a program like this in their midst.”
A main goal of the program is to ensure that skilled healthcare professionals and quality care aren’t lost to bigger cities. ASU and EAC aim to keep graduates of the program in rural areas. Each semester, students in the program are required to complete 10 hours of community service as well as four hours of “leadership time” mentoring underclassmen.
To learn more about Arizona State University’s partnership with Eastern Arizona College to encourage nurses to work in rural areas, visit here.
Florida International University’s (FIU) Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences has awarded $100,000 in traineeship grants to five FIU nurse practitioner graduate students to participate in the pilot of the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program.
ANEW is a two-year nursing education initiative funded by the US Human Resources & Services Administration to prepare advanced practice nurses to provide primary care in rural and underserved areas.
Tami Thomas, associate dean of research for the college and ANEW grant project director, tells News.FIU.edu, “Many of today’s 60 million rural Americans are uninsured, at risk for increased health risk behaviors, and live in poverty at even higher levels than what we see in our big cities. ANEW addresses this inequity by familiarizing nurse practitioners with the challenges and opportunities of working in rural health care settings and preparing them to work to the fullest scope of their abilities.”
The health departments of Glades and Hendry counties will be providing five clinical sites and onsite instructional supervisors to guide the trainees during their training program. FIU nursing faculty will also supplement the training by using telehealth systems to help ANEW trainees deliver care at the clinics.
The first cohort of ANEW trainees are all graduate nursing students from FIU’s Family Nurse Practitioner track. Each trainee will receive up to $20,000 to help cover tuition, living and housing expenses, and textbooks. Their clinical rotation begins in summer 2018.
To learn more about FIU’s rural primary care nursing apprenticeship program and the first cohort of trainees, visit here.
Florida A&M University (FAMU) will be placing new focus on preparing nursing students to serve in rural and underserved communities thanks to a $1.3 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
The project, called the Academic-Practice Partnerships Enhance Advanced Learning (APPEAL), is intended to advance the health and life success of Florida communities through the diversification of health professions. Students in the FAMU School of Nursing will work in partner primary care clinical practice sites in medically underserved and rural communities to help increase the number of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) working in those areas.
Henry C. Talley, PhD, dean of the School of Nursing and principal investigator for the grant, tells FAMUNews.com, “The HRSA grant and our new APPEAL project position us to not only train the next generation of nursing professionals on how to serve rural and underserved communities but also allows us to help eliminate health care disparities for families and individuals who deserve the best care available despite their financial status or location.”
APRNs are trained to serve as direct patient care providers in the state of Florida and can offer services including preventing, diagnosing, and treating illnesses. Through new partnerships, the APPEAL project will provide hands-on training for advanced practice nursing students, preparing them for successful entry to community-based, primary care settings in rural and underserved areas.
To learn more about FAMU’s APPEAL project and new nursing grant, visit here.