Federal grant to boost rural health care with opportunities for advanced practice nurses from Radford

Radford University’s Waldron College of Health and Human Services and School of Nursing have been awarded a two-year, $1 million Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA.)

The two-year grant will enable Radford University to immerse advanced practice nursing students in the roles, values and contributions that they can make to the health of rural communities, said Associate Professor of Nursing Victoria Bierman B.S. ’77, B.S.N. ’98, M.S.N. ’04, the grant’s primary investigator. The students will come from the School of Nursing’s Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner programs.

The grant will deepen the relationship between the School of Nursing and regional health care providers and agencies in Southwest Virginia and Southside Virginia to improve health care service delivery to rural communities. With more rural agency relationships created by the grant, Radford-trained advanced practice nurses, including Doctors of Nursing Practice (DNP), will serve communities suffering from a shortage of health care providers.

In the process, Radford DNP students will apply and strengthen the interprofessional collaboration skills and evidence-based nursing practices that are central to their nursing education and practice.

“On behalf the region’s underserved citizens, we have an exciting chance for our advanced practice nurses to gain valuable practice opportunities and build working relationships with colleagues in an area the desperately needs them,” Bierman said.

Called Advanced Nursing Education Workforce: Longitudinal Education Advancing Rural Nursing (ANEW:LEARN,) the program is funded by HRSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.

Radford’s DNP program, with a 14-member graduate faculty, prepares registered nurses with bachelors or masters degrees in nursing for advanced nursing practice and health care leadership.

"Advanced practice nurses are key to responding to the mounting need for primary care," said SON Director Tony Ramsey, who currently directs the Radford DNP program. "This grant will help the University as part of the regional health care system bring our communities and citizens greater access to care and lower costs."

Radford’s DNP program provides a rigorous practice-oriented terminal degree for working nurses with between 30 and 81 credit hours of online instruction. It further requires up to 1,080 clinical practice hours and a final project of original research.

Graduates of the program then take one of two national board certification tests on which Radford graduates have a 100 percent pass rate.

In May, the program earned the prestigious 10-year accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is one of nine CCNE-accredited DNP programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Nine DNP candidates were hooded at the Radford’s May ceremonies joining more than 60 Radford-trained advanced nursing practitioners since the program enrolled its first class in 2010.

Jul 14, 2017
Don Bowman
(540) 831-5182