The investment is intended to 'double down' on increasing demand for RNs, NPs, nurse midwives, and nurse faculty.
Most of the $100 million committed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to grow the nation’s nursing workforce will go toward building advanced practice nurses (APRNs).
HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced Thursday the investment to “double down” on the increasing demand for RNs, nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse midwives, and nurse faculty, said Xavier Becerra, HHS secretary.
Nearly $65 million of the investment will fund training for APRNs who will deliver primary care, mental health care, and maternal healthcare, according to HHS:
- The Advanced Nursing Education Workforce Program will receive $34.8 million to increase the number of primary care NPs, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives trained and prepared to provide primary care services, mental health and substance use disorder care, and/or maternal healthcare.
- The Advanced Nursing Education-Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Program will receive $30 million to support comprehensive residency and fellowship training programs to increase the number of trained advanced practice nurses in primary care.
The grants also will address bottlenecks in nurse training through the Nurse Faculty Loan Program, which will receive $26.5 million for award recipient schools to provide low-interest loans and loan cancellation to incentivize careers as nursing school faculty.
Nearly $9 million will help licensed practical nurses become RNs through the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention-Pathway to Registered Nurse Program which trains licensed practical nurses and licensed vocational nurses to become RNs.
HRSA’s investment targets some of healthcare’s most difficult challenges:
- The need for primary care APRNs is considerable, particularly in rural areas as hospitals close and the number of physicians declines. Nearly 80% of U.S. rural counties are medical deserts, with no access to healthcare services, according to the National Rural Health Association.
- Rural residents with mental healthcare needs are also struggling with the lack of providers. Nationwide, some 158 million people live in Mental Healthcare Health Professional Shortage Areas, according to AANP.
- Areas with low or no access to maternal care affects nearly 7 million women across the United States, according to the March of Dimes’ 2022 report on U.S. maternity care deserts. This unavailability is growing, with a 2% increase in counties that are maternity care deserts since the organization’s 2020 report.
"Nurses are the frontline in delivering life-saving care and in keeping all of us healthy and well," said Carole Johnson, HRSA administrator. "[These] investments from the Health Resources and Services Administration demonstrate our ongoing commitment to supporting the nursing workforce, training and growing the next generation of nurses, creating career ladders for nurses, and recognizing the critical role nurses play in primary care, mental healthcare, and maternal healthcare."
Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.
Photo credit: Postmodern Studio / Shutterstock.com
Nearly $65 million of the investment will fund training for APRNs to deliver primary care, mental healthcare, and maternal healthcare.
The grants also will address bottlenecks in nurse training by incentivizing careers as nursing school faculty.
Nearly $9 million will help licensed practical nurses become RNs.