$1 Million HRSA Grant Awarded for Online Programs in Underserved Communities

Jefferson School of Nursing (JSN), Thomas Jefferson University, received a $1.05 million grant from Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for the project Promoting Health Access: Online Graduate Programs for Rural Underserved Communities. The grant funds a continuation of a successful project of the same name and furthers JSN’s goal to increase the critical mass of nursing experts throughout Pennsylvania in order to eliminate health access barriers.

“JSN is focused on integrating Healthy People 2010 objectives, including enhancing cultural competency, building up community health and developing connections with rural clinical sites,” says Principal Investigator Beth Ann Swan, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Academic Affairs at JSN. “The funding helps us extend this project, which has already prepared nearly three dozen nurses for advanced practice in rural areas, thus increasing access to healthcare both inside and outside Pennsylvania.” Associate Professor Ksenia Zukowsky, PhD, APRN, NNP-BC, is the project’s Co-Investigator.

Over the grant’s three years, JSN will strengthen recruitment and retention strategies for masters (MSN) and doctoral (DNP) nursing students with an emphasis on increasing the percentage of students from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds to diversify the workforce of the state and reduce health disparities.

Recruitment to four MSN specialty tracks, Acute Care, Women’s Health Care, Community Systems Administration and post-MSN in Nursing Education, will be added. These build on the Adult, Family and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner and post-MSN Doctor of Nursing Practice programs which were introduced in the first phase of the project. All of the coursework for these programs can be completed online and the clinical work can be completed at any approved location, so students can further their education without relocating.

Other elements of the project include strengthening the DNP program, growing the number of rural sites and preceptors for clinical practice, and increasing educational experiences focused on community health needs and aimed toward improving minority and underserved populations’ access to care from a diverse and culturally competent nurse workforce.

For more information about Jefferson School of Nursing’s graduate nursing programs, visit http://jefferson.edu/nursing/education/graduate.cfm.

Published: 08-22-2011

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