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Our Nurses of the Week are the nurses from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing who received a $2.8 million grant which will help to establish a primary care registered nurse (RN) workforce. The grant will help to improve health outcomes in medically underserved areas in Alabama and educate undergraduate nursing students and practicing RNs in team-focused primary care.

The grant will fund a project called, “Building a Resilient Primary Care Registered Nurse Workforce for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control in Alabama,” which is funded by a Nurse Education, Practice, Quality, and Retention grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration and will focus on training and sustaining baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses in medically underserved areas.

The project will be led by principal investigator Maria Shirey, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Acute, Chronic, and Continuing Care.The role of the BSN-prepared RN is integral to care coordination and management of patient transitions from hospital to home but registered nurses have disappeared from most community-based primary care settings, often replaced by less trained medical assistants. When registered nurses are found in primary care settings, they often are not practicing to the full extent of their education and training.

Shirey tells, “Alabama and the United States have a primary care service deficit, especially in medically underserved areas, and BSN-prepared registered nurses are capable of assuming greater responsibility for care management for patients with chronic conditions across all levels of prevention, as well as follow-up and complex specialty care coordination for those discharged from the hospital. BSN-prepared registered nurses can provide safe, high-quality care to at-risk populations, such as patients with multiple chronic conditions, while also managing the costs of such care.”

To learn more about the $2.8 million grant received by the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing to help establish a primary care RN workforce in medically underserved areas, visit here.

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