The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing four grants totaling more than $11.8 million for work in health delivery and training programs serving underserved areas of Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and the Southeast.
The grants will advance the public health workforce in the Atlanta area, establish a mobile health presence in South Georgia and Atlanta, increase the numbers of clinical nursing faculty and preceptors in the Southeast, and prepare students and practicing nurses to advance culturally sensitive acute care in Atlanta communities.
The projects will be part of the community programming work of the School of Nursing’s Lillian Carter Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, charged with helping improve the health of vulnerable people worldwide through nursing education, research, practice, and policy.
“The community is where much of care happens, and this funding will play a tremendous role in preparing our future nurse leaders to serve communities,” says Linda McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. “We have a responsibility to be part of the solution of making sure every individual has access to care, and we are grateful for such a breadth and depth of funding to bolster this work.”
Supporting the community health workforce
A $3 million, three-year HRSA grant will create the Atlanta Region Community Health Workforce Advancement (ARCHWAy) program, which aims to expand and support the work of community health workers (CHW) including health educators, community organizers, capacity builders, and care delivery team members.
In a recent healthcare ranking of the nation’s top 20 cities, Atlanta ranked second to last for health cost, quality, and access. Meanwhile, Atlanta is the eighth largest metropolitan statistical area in the nation but is not among the 10 metro areas with the highest CHW employment, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The program will address these challenges by providing a 12-week training program for new and existing CHWs – coupled with recruitment and retention initiatives such as field placements, tuition support/stipends, job placement, and wrap-around services including early care and education, financial literacy support, and mentoring. The training will feature simulated experiences and hands-on learning involving topics such as patient advocacy, community outreach, service coordination, health promotion, emergency response, and heart disease, stroke, and HIV prevention and treatment.
Beth Ann Swan, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate dean and vice president for academic practice partnerships at the School of Nursing, received the grant and will be directing the program. This program is supported by HRSA as part of an award totaling $3 million with 0.05 percent financed with non-governmental sources.
Making health care mobile
Mobile health benefiting underserved communities is the focus of the more than $3.9 million, four-year “Nurse Education, Practice Quality and Retention - Mobile Health Training Program” grant.
With the funding, the School of Nursing will establish the Emory in MOTION mobile health program, which will provide two nurse-led mobile health units serving South Georgia and the Atlanta area and allow Emory nursing students from diverse backgrounds to gain clinical experience while providing care on the units.
Emory in MOTION will work with the Ellenton Migrant Farmworker Clinic, a long-standing clinical partner in Moultrie, Ga., to purchase and staff a nurse-led mobile health van providing care to the area’s migrant farm workers. In Atlanta, Emory in MOTION will work with several partners to establish nurse-led teams providing mobile care to communities in need. Partnering organizations include Boat People SOS, Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition, the Mexican Consulate, the DeKalb County Board of Health, and the Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale district public health departments.
The grant was awarded to assistant professors Quyen Phan, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC; Erin Ferranti, PhD, MPH, RN, FAHA; Roxana Chicas, PhD, RN; and Laura Kimble, PhD, RN, FNP-C, FAHA, FAAN, professor and associate dean for academic operations. This program is supported by HRSA as part of an award totaling $3,908,760 with no percentage financed with non-governmental sources.
Increasing clinical faculty, preceptors
Like all professionals, nurses benefit from insight and guidance from experienced colleagues as they start their careers. That reality is the heart of a four-year, more than $3.9 million grant that will recruit and train nurses to be clinical nursing faculty and preceptors in the Southeast.
Clinical nursing faculty teach and evaluate nursing students during their on-site training in hospitals and other clinical settings, and preceptors are experienced, licensed nurses who supervise students during clinical rotations.
The HRSA grant will create the Clinical Instructor and Preceptor Excellence in the Southeast (CAPES) Academy, which will prepare 128 nurses to serve as clinical nursing faculty and preceptors to newly hired licensed nurses for a variety of care settings in health professional shortage areas in eight states in the Southeast.
The academy will create and implement a training curriculum, provide services to facilitate clinical faculty and preceptor success, financially support clinical faculty and preceptors to promote retention, place newly trained clinical faculty and preceptors with employment opportunities, and enhance or create new academic-clinical partnerships.
The CAPES Academy is designed to increase the capacity of the nursing workforce, as the increase in nurse educators will enable nursing schools to enroll more students and prepare more nurses.
The program will be directed by Quyen Phan, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, assistant professor in the School of Nursing. This program is supported by HRSA as part of an award totaling $3,923,317 with no percentage financed with non-governmental sources.
Strengthening culturally sensitive acute care
A nearly $1 million, three-year grant will create “Toward Health Equity and Literacy: Training for Optimal RN Efficacy in Acute Care” (2HEAL) – a program to increase the number of undergraduate nursing students trained in acute care settings to address and manage social determinants of health.
Social determinants of health are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect health and quality of life.
Through 2HEAL, approximately 135 Bachelor of Science in Nursing students from diverse backgrounds will take part in hands-on learning, simulation scenarios with manikins and patient-actors, and training alongside community partners that serve marginalized populations – all to strengthen students’ capacity for high-quality, culturally sensitive care in acute care settings, where patients receive active but short-term care for severe injury or illness.
The School of Nursing is one of the first nursing schools in the U.S. to systematically integrate social determinants of health across its curricula. 2HEAL will build upon that momentum, expanding how students address social determinants of health in clinical training and bolstering student insight into health equity and health literacy for underserved populations in metro Atlanta.
The program will also partner with Emory Healthcare to deliver professional development learning modules as part of its registered nurse preparation.
The grant recipient is Roxana Chicas, PhD, RN, assistant professor in the School of Nursing. This program is supported by HRSA as part of an award totaling $945,776 with no percentage financed with non-governmental sources.
The contents of HRSA-supported grants are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.
About the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing produces nurse leaders who are transforming healthcare through science, education, practice, and policy. Graduates go on to become national and international leaders in patient care, public health, government, research, and education. Others become qualified to seek certification as nurse practitioners and nurse-midwives. The doctor of nurse practice (DNP) program trains nurse anesthetists and advanced leaders in healthcare administration. The school also maintains a PhD program in partnership with Emory's Laney Graduate School. For more information, visit nursing.emory.edu.