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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

USI College of Nursing and Health Professions receives $2.2 million in HRSA grants

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The College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Indiana is expanding its graduate nursing program offerings and student financial assistance with federal grants totaling $2.2 million recently received from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

"The HRSA grants provide the opportunity for our college to expand our graduate nursing programs," said Dr. Nadine Coudret, dean of the college.

A new psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program and a new clinical nurse specialist program (CNS) will be offered.

"We've used similar funding to start the family nurse practitioner program and the acute care nurse practitioner program and, we are excited to be able to have these new programs at USI," Coudret said.

A master's degree program and a post master's certification will be available in both areas. Each grant is for three years. The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program will be funded with a $720,850 grant. A $705,980 grant will fund the development of the clinical nurse specialty program.

Family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners are able to provide children and adults with primary mental healthcare. "There is a major shortage of psychiatric-mental health care providers at both the regional and national level," Coudret said. Graduates of this program will provide urgently needed services to patients in our community. Dr. Kathy Riedford, associate professor of nursing and a practicing psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner, will direct the program development. Dr. Riedford holds a Ph.D. in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from Indiana University and is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner(PMHNP).

Clinical nurse specialists are expert nurse clinicians in a specialized area of nursing practice, such as geriatrics, oncology, critical care, and emergency room care. Their practice setting is typically in a hospital or extended care facility. Research has demonstrated the importance of nursing to patient care outcomes. The clinical nurse specialist is prepared to provide care, lead, educate and consult with the nursing staff to advance the level of nursing care in our hospitals. Dr. Judi Kuric is the project director of the clinical nurse specialty. Dr. Kuric earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Rush University.

A grant of $748,805 will provide funding to expand the doctorate in nursing practice (DNP) program which began in 2008. The first class of 15 DNP students graduated this spring. The influence and leadership of DNP graduates in addressing major health problems is evidenced in the numerous publications and presentations that describe the graduate projects that were carried out in schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities and in the community. Dr. Ann White, associate dean of the college, is the project director and serves as director of the program.

A fourth grant of $77,049 will be used to fund nursing traineeships. This funding is available for full-time students and for students in their last year of graduate study. Dr. Mayola Rowser, director of the graduate nursing programs, is the project director.

Four nursing specialties are currently offered at the master's level in the College of Nursing and Health Professions including acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nursing education, and nursing management and leadership in addition to the doctoral degree in nursing practice. The college also offers master's degrees in health administration and occupational therapy. Total enrollment for the college is 2,218 undergraduates and 458 graduate students.



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