|Nursing receives two federally funded grants|
The College of Nursing is the recipient of two grants to support new master’s degree tracks specializing in gerontology and public/community health nursing. The grants are funded through the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Enrollment for both degree options will begin in the fall of 2007 with options to earn an R.N. to M.S. degree, M.S. degree, or post-nursing master's certificate.
With the addition of these two programs, the College of Nursing now has three federally funded master’s degree grants, the psychology/mental health master’s degree grant was renewed in 2006. “We at the College are thrilled with this news”, shares Chandice Covington, dean of nursing. “Education in the areas of gerontology and public/community health is in high demand in North Dakota and the nation. The faculty directing these programs are dedicated to success and seeing an impact on health in our region. We at the College applaud their hard work and commitment.”
The Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (NP)/Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) program is a an online, five-semester track (51 credits for the NP and 54 credits for the CNS) which will allow graduates to earn their gerontological NP or gerontological CSN certifications through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Of today’s 2.7 million registered nurses, less than 1 percent are certified in gerontological nursing and only 3 percent of advanced practice RNs have specialized training in this area. Nearly two-thirds of North Dakota’s 39 rural counties have 20 percent or more of their population base 65 years of age or older and that proportion is expected to jump by at least 10 percent by 2020.
“Without enough gerontologically educated advanced practice nurses, our state and our nation’s health care industry remains underprepared to address the complex health care needs of older adults,” shares Marcia Gragert, project director.
The Public/Community Health Clinical Nurse Specialist (P/CHN CNS) program will prepare nurses for advanced practice nursing care of populations in a distance-delivery format. The master’s track will focus on population-based care of vulnerable populations in rural areas and will provide education in the public health sciences.
“In many rural areas, nurses provide the majority of public health services and are often some of the only health professionals in the community,” shares Tracy Evanson, project director. “This demands that these nurses fill many diverse roles and have a high level of competence in the areas of health promotion and disease prevention at the individual, family, community, and systems levels in order to keep rural populations healthy. The new track will prepare nurses for this advance practice role and will enable them to develop effective interventions to meet the needs of vulnerable rural populations.”
This program is greatly needed in North Dakota and region, as it is the only one of its kind between Minneapolis, Boise, Idaho, and Omaha, Neb. The program will serve to improve the public health infrastructure, one of the major focus areas of Healthy People 2010.
Both project directors are faculty within the College of Nursing.
Dr. Gragert has a great deal of experience in adult health and gerontology nursing. She has worked in critical care, medical-surgical and long-term care areas, and her research has focused on chronic health problems and sleep disturbances in the adult and older adult population.
Dr. Evanson has a strong background in public and community health in both practice and research. Her research focuses on developing the role of public health nursing in domestic violence prevention and intervention. Victims of domestic violence are a vulnerable population that is often hidden, unrecognized by health care providers, and difficult to access. Public health nurses, who often work in home settings, may be in the best position to provide effective care to this vulnerable population.
-- Becky Cournia, Alumni Relations & Development, Nursing, firstname.lastname@example.org, 777-4526