School of Nursing receives federal funding for primary care program

The School of Nursing at UT Health San Antonio has received a $2.5 million grant to initiate a specialized nursing bachelor’s program in primary care. The four-year grant funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, began July 1.

The program, within the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) track, includes a new curriculum emphasizing primary care in a clinical care setting, as well as team-based, primary care clinical training in locations that serve primarily at-risk, underserved populations.

The grant also will support revisions to the School of Nursing’s overall curricula to include more emphasis on primary care nursing, and the development of an annual interprofessional workshop focused on primary care for practicing registered nurses (RNs), clinical supervisors of nursing students and nursing faculty members.

“There is a critical need to increase the delivery of high-quality, primary health care by baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses practicing in community clinics. However, of the 3.3 million professionally active RNs in the U.S., about 61 percent practice in hospitals and only 18 percent practice in clinics,” said Norma Martinez Rogers, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, principal investigator of the grant and a professor of nursing at UT Health San Antonio.

Students in the primary care nursing program will learn about population health; preventing and managing chronic diseases, including mental health and substance use disorders; participating on interprofessional teams; providing care for patients from a variety of cultures; and addressing the needs of patients who are dealing with barriers to health care.

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