HRSA $700,000 Grant

August 01, 2014 — The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies is proud to announce that it has received a $700,000 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Advanced Education Nurse Traineeship (HRSA AENT) competitive grant program. The funding will provide critically-needed support to students enrolled in the school’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care programs. The purpose of the HRSA AENT Program is to increase the number of advanced education nurses trained to practice as primary care providers by providing grant funding for tuition, books, and living expense costs 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 fulltime to part-time status so they can continue working to earn an income,” said Todd Ambrosia, Principal Investigator of the funded project, Associate Dean for Master’s Programs and Assistant Professor of Clinical at the SONHS. “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 SONHS’ 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 being 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% uninsured rate ranks well above the national average. SONHS Dean Nilda (Nena) Peragallo Montano explains, “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. The HRSA funding is timely and will help us prepare advanced practice nurses, many from minority groups themselves, to meet the complex healthcare needs and address serious health disparity gaps in Miami Dade County.”

The landmark 2010 Institute of Medicine report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health noted that as millions more patients are expected to 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 to build those competencies and bring more advanced practice nurses into the profession by providing tuitions stipends of $22,000 per year to students who enroll fulltime and $10,000 to those who enroll part-time in the FNP and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care programs.

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