GVSU receives federal grant to collaborate with health care systems to prepare more nurse practitioners

headshot: Katherine Moran
Katherine Moran, KCON associate dean for graduate programs, is the primary investigator for the grant.
Image credit - University Communications

Grand Valley's Kirkhof College of Nursing received a $2.8 million federal grant to work collaboratively with two Michigan health care systems to graduate more students who will work as nurse practitioners in rural or underserved areas.

The four-year Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Grant, supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, totals $2,799,987 with 0 percent financed with non-governmental sources.

Through a collaboration with McLaren Health Care and Mercy Health Muskegon, the grant will support 15 qualified students who will enroll in KCON's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Cynthia McCurren, dean of KCON and professor of nursing, said: "The intention is to support registered nurses who are committed to serving the communities where they live with the opportunity to advance their education. A portion of the grant funds will support the students financially, removing a significant barrier to their education.”

McCurren added the students will be equipped with experiences and skills needed to address the unique challenges to delivering health care in rural areas.

Katherine Moran, KCON associate dean for graduate programs, is the primary investigator for the grant. Moran said other key components of the grant are the co-design of clinical education with practice partners, an emphasis on the use of technology to enhance care delivery, and the integration of mental health into primary care.

“Patients in some rural areas of Michigan lack access to care for mental or behavioral health disorders,” Moran said. “Our DNP program intentionally focuses on integrating mental and behavioral health care into the primary care setting.”

Recruitment of qualified students will begin in July with the first cohort enrolling in the fall semester.

A one-year, $332,600 grant from HRSA in 2016 provided the initial foundation for KCON’s expertise in this area, as it supported the preparation of nurse practitioners to serve in rural communities.


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