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Grant Will Help Increase Nurse Practitioners in Miami-Dade

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    Special to UM News

    CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 1, 2014)—The School of Nursing and Health Studies has received a $700,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Advanced Education Nurse Traineeship (HRSA AENT) competitive grant program to provide critically needed support to students enrolled in the school’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care programs. The HRSA AENT program is designed to increase the number of advanced education nurses trained to practice as primary care providers by providing funding for tuition, books, and living expenses to students seeking their Master of Science in Nursing degrees and FNP or adult nurse practitioner (NP) certifications.

    “The financial challenges presented when pursuing advanced-level nursing education are insurmountable for many students, forcing them to either abandon their goal of NP training or drop from full-time to part-time status so they can continue working to earn an income,” said Todd Ambrosia, associate dean for master’s programs and principal investigator of the funded project. “This award will significantly relieve that burden and accelerate their graduation, increasing the number of nurse practitioners to help meet the growing need for primary care providers in Miami-Dade County.”

    The number of applicants to the school’s FNP and adult-gerontology primary care NP programs has tripled over the past five years, while the advent of health care reform and a decline in the primary care physician workforce are straining an already taxed primary care system. This nationwide crisis is acutely felt in Miami-Dade County, where the number of family practice physicians is only half that of the rest of the state and the 30 percent uninsured rate ranks well above the national average.

    “While we are fortunate to live in a region that is culturally diverse, the burden of chronic diseases and their associated risk factors are greater among minorities,” explained Dean Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano. “The HRSA funding is timely and will help us prepare advanced practice nurses, many from minority groups themselves, to meet the complex health care needs and address serious health disparity gaps in Miami-Dade County.”

    The Institute of Medicine’s landmark 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which UM President Donna E. Shalala led, noted that as millions more patients access health care services in the transformed health care system, nurse practitioners will play a prominent role in providing safe, high-quality primary care. The new HRSA AENT funds will help the SONHS build those competencies and bring more advanced practice nurses into the profession by providing tuition stipends of $22,000 per year to students who enroll full-time and $10,000 to those who enroll part-time in the FNP and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care programs.

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