Tuesday, October 12, 2010

GSU only Georgia institution to receive grant from new federal program to train more nurse practitioners

Georgia State's Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing has recently received a new federal grant to help train needed nurse practitioners who are an important part of the health care system.

The $831,600 grant from the Advanced Nursing Education Expansion program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will provide funds for students for up to two years to help reduce the financial burden of attending school full time, and will help increase graduation rates.

"This highly competitive grant will allow GSU to increase the number of primary care providers available to consumers," said Susan Kelley, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences. "Because of the quality of care which nurse practitioners provide, the demand for their services has grown immensely."

"We are very excited to receive this grant," said Barbara Woodring, chair of the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing. "Nurse practitioners will be needed to aid in the health care system in the coming years. The Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing graduates one of the largest numbers of master's prepared nurse practitioners in the region, and the funding will go a long way in aiding our students."

The school of nursing is the only Georgia nursing school to receive a federal grant under this award program, which aims to train 600 advanced nursing professionals nationwide by 2015.

Since they were first trained in 1965, nurse practitioners have aided in the primary health care system, providing services similar to those of a doctor. They diagnose and treat a wide range of health problems, and also focus on health promotion, disease prevention, health education and counseling.

Because of their services, they help to lower the cost of patient care. According to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, there are about 14,000 of these professionals in the United States.

Georgia State's program has five areas of focus, including adult health, pediatrics, family health, women's health, and psychiatric/mental health. The federal grant covers all five areas of the program, and must be used for direct support such as tuition, fees and a small stipend for students to attend full time.

The Advanced Nursing Education Expansion program is part of $320 million in grants under the Affordable Care Act.

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