The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded a $350,000 traineeship grant to the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) College of Nursing. The grant will fund 50 Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) from 2016-2018, covering two full academic years.
Intended to support the traineeship of future APRNs pursuing service in Mississippi’s rural and medically-underserved populations, the grant will help increase primary care in Mississippi. Dr. Melanie Gilmore, Associate Professor and Program Director of USM’s Family Nurse Practitioner program, tells Southern Miss Now, “Mississippi is primarily a rural state (55.14%) that is ranked as the poorest state as well as the state with the poorest health in the nation.”
Many of the graduate nursing students at USM are also working nurses with family and financial obligations. Supporting 50 traineeships helps offset the financial burden of Mississippi nurses who want to return to school in a high poverty state. With required courses in evidence-based practice, ethics and role development, and health care policy and finance, graduates of the APRN and nurse practitioner programs will be highly marketable for employment in the underserved state in desperate need of more comprehensive care providers.