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Faculty: Tracy Kinner, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, FNP-C and Marilyn Ostendorf, DNP, RN

Funding: $2,026,816.00 over 4 years

In 2019, The College of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of Southern Indiana received a four-year grant in excess of $2 million to increase the number of registered nurses trained in primary care to positively impact health in rural communities.

Funding is from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) division of Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) – Registered Nurses in Primary Care Training Program. HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The USI College of Nursing and Health Professions will create academic practice partnerships with two rural hospitals serving surrounding counties with limited access to health care and two county health departments. In addition to enhancing primary care in rural areas, the grant will allow ample clinical opportunities for USI undergraduate students.

Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center based in Jasper, Indiana is partnering with USI for all four years of the grant project. Memorial Hospital serves Dubois County and seven surrounding counties with 31 health care clinics. In July 2019, Memorial Hospital will expand one of their health care clinics that will include a family medicine residency program in affiliation with IU School of Medicine. Student nurses and medical residents will be offered an opportunity work together in an interprofessional collaborative practice environment in the primary care setting.

Beginning in year two of the grant, additional rural sites will be integrated in partnership with Gibson General Hospital, a critical access hospital in Princeton, Indiana, with four primary care clinics.

USI is also collaborating with the Dubois County Health Department, Gibson County Health Department and the Southwest Indiana Area Health Education Center (AHEC), which will work closely with USI across all four years to engage rural communities in expanding and strengthening the primary care nursing workforce.

As health care in this country changes there will be a shift from an acute care emphasis to a population-based health model. This grant provides clinical site opportunities which will allow USI nursing students to focus on health promotion, chronic disease management and preventative care.