News Release

LSU Health Nursing awarded $2.6 million to improve primary care, mental health and maternal care in Louisiana

Grant and Award Announcement

Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center

New Orleans, LA – The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded LSU Health New Orleans’ School of Nursing $2.6 million over four years to increase the number of nurse practitioners and nurse midwives trained and prepared to provide equitable, culturally aligned, quality primary care services, mental health and substance use disorder care, and maternal health care to underrepresented populations in rural, urban, tribal, and underserved areas across the state. The project will establish new partnerships, provide tuition support to a diverse group of students, and enhance the curriculum.

            "There is a tremendous need for increasing the number and expanding the distribution of primary care nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to rural areas to address the unmet primary care, mental health care, and maternal health needs of Louisiana," notes Sherry Rivera DNP, ANP-C, FNKF, FAANP, Program Coordinator of the Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Concentration and Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing at LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing. “We are recruiting primary care nurse practitioners (adult-gerontology primary care, family, pediatric, and psych-mental health) and nurse-midwifery applicants today.”

            Sixty-three of Louisiana’s 64 parishes meet the criteria for designation as primary care health professional shortage areas, and those who are there are aging. A lack of primary care providers is a commonly cited cause for limited access to health care in rural Louisiana. Similar projections indicate a deficit of adult psychiatrists available, with projected availability only meeting approximately 50% of the demand. In Louisiana, 24% of women live in a parish considered a low-access area and 9% live in a maternity care desert. An analysis of pregnancy-associated deaths in the state from 2016 to 2017 found a 91% increase in the risk of maternal mortality for women living in a maternity care desert.

            The funding will also support professional development and education for advanced practice nursing clinical faculty and preceptors.

The project will build upon and enhance current advanced practice nursing education and training for mental health and substance use disorders supported by the $1.25 million HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce and Education and Training Grant, as well as the $3 million grant for the Clinical Nurse Educator Academy for Region 6 to LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing.

“HRSA funding of this grant will continue to support our nursing school’s efforts to meet the current health care advanced nursing practice workforce challenges while relieving some of our students’ financial burdens,” says Demetrius J. Porche DNS, PhD, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN, Professor and Dean of LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing.

Potential students who need details and application information can email Potential faculty preceptors can register for the Clinical Nurse Educator Academy here.


LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's flagship health sciences university, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine with campuses in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research in a number of areas in a worldwide arena, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment, or cure disease. To learn more, visit,, or                                                   








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