School of Nursing receives $1.12 million grant for interprofessional education

August 27, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The School of Nursing has received a $1.12 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to support interprofessional education and collaboration between students in the school’s nurse practitioner program and medical students at Penn State College of Medicine.

The funds will be used to develop learning experiences designed to improve safety and quality of care for patients with multiple chronic conditions in rural and medically underserved areas in Pennsylvania.

“The goals are twofold,” said Patricia Sweeney, director of the nurse practitioner program. “The first goal is to develop practice competencies specific to those with multiple chronic conditions and their families. The second is to prepare faculty to teach using technology in an interdisciplinary learning environment.”

The funds will be used to support the extension of technology and the development of interprofessional learning activities for nurse practitioner students at five Penn State campuses: Fayette, Hershey, Mont Alto, University Park and Worthington Scranton.

The nurse practitioner program includes master’s degree and post-master’s certificate options for family, adult gerontology primary care and adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioners. To accommodate students in rural areas, courses are delivered online or through interactive video technology at the relevant campuses.

“Nurse practitioner students from all sites will work in pairs or small groups with medical students at the University Park or Hershey campus to complete shared learning through distance technology,” Sweeney said. In addition, all students will have clinical experiences with underserved populations in both rural and urban settings.

The School of Nursing recently received two other HRSA grants, one to expand the nurse practitioner program to the Mont Alto and Worthington Scranton campuses, and the second to fully fund 30 nurse practitioner students for a period of five years. The purpose of these grants is to educate nurse practitioners in rural medically underserved areas in Pennsylvania, with the goal of having the students remain in their home communities upon graduation.

Last Updated August 29, 2013