U.Va. Nursing School Receives $1.2 Million Grant for Leadership in Rural Health Care Project

October 23, 2009 — The University of Virginia School of Nursing has received a $1.2 million grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to fund its Nursing Leadership in Rural Health Care project.

Listen to the UVA Today Radio Show report on this story by Jane Ford:

The three-year Advanced Education Nursing award will help prepare more nursing leaders as specialists in rural health care, with expertise in community and public health leadership, health systems management or psychiatric mental health. Students in the Master's of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs will take expanded classes in rural health care leadership and cultural competence.

"Data shows that nurses educated close to home are more likely to stay and work in their local communities after receiving an advanced degree," said associate nursing professor Doris Glick, project director for the Nursing Leadership in Rural Health Care program. "Through use of Web-based courses, we can educate nursing leaders for rural communities."

The project will strengthen and expand the school's existing distance education program. In addition, the faculty will build partnerships with public and private health and mental health agencies to develop clinical experiences in the students' home communities.

The project's ultimate aim is to improve access to quality health care and to help eliminate health barriers and disparities in rural and underserved areas. Upon completion, graduates will be prepared to provide leadership and transform rural health care systems to better address the needs of rural populations.

In addition to Glick, the Nursing Leadership in Rural Health Care team includes co-director and public health nurse coordinator Pamela Kulbok, psychiatric mental health and distance learning coordinator Catherine Kane, health system management coordinator Kathleen Cox, psychiatric mental health faculty member Edie Barbero, and Emily Hauenstein, director of the Southeast Mental Health Research Center.

About U.Va.'s School of Nursing

The University of Virginia School of Nursing stands among the top 5 percent in the nation, ranked 19th by U.S. News & World Report magazine; two of its graduate programs are currently listed in the U.S. News Top 10. With a vigorous research program that includes studies in rural health care and disparities in health care, oncology, gerontology, complementary therapies and nursing history, the school has implemented new programs and strategies to address the national nursing shortage and the concurrent need for more highly educated nurses to deliver increasingly complex health care. The recently opened Claude Moore Nursing Education Building and upcoming renovation of McLeod Hall allow for an enrollment increase and expansion of the Clinical Simulation Learning Center and the Center for Nursing Historical Inquiry. Nursing Dean Dorrie Fontaine, who is also Sadie Heath Cabaniss Professor of Nursing, is a past president of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the largest specialty nursing organization in the world.

— By Hannah Walker