College of Nursing grant will enhance rural emergency care

Image with caption: Kathy Morris, D.N.P., at right, will be the project director of the three-year grant.
Kathy Morris, D.N.P., at right, will be the project director of the three-year grant.
The UNMC College of Nursing has received a three-year grant for nearly $769,000 to launch a new certificate program that offers advanced education and training for family nurse practitioners who work in rural and underserved areas.

Classes for the program will begin in August. Applications will be accepted through March 30.

The Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided funding for the post-master's acute care nurse practitioner certification for family nurse practitioners. The program is for those who have already earned a master's degree as a family nurse practitioner, are licensed and practice in rural Nebraska.

Kathy Morris, D.N.P., assistant professor in the UNMC College of Nursing and project director of the three-year grant, said the program will help increase rural Nebraskans' access to care and provide added education and training to work with patients in rural emergency rooms and hospitals.

"There is a need in rural and underserved communities and smaller hospitals where there may be fewer resources," Dr. Morris said. "Family nurse practitioners are often required to provide care for patients in emergency departments and in acute care units of critical access hospitals.

"This certificate program will augment their educational preparation and expand their expertise to manage complex patients with multiple chronic conditions in primary care, emergency care and acute care settings."

The program includes using an interprofessional education model in partnership with UNMC's College of Medicine and College of Public Health.

Classes will be taught through Internet distance technology. Clinical practicum will occur at hospitals throughout Nebraska including rural and critical access hospitals. Intensive advanced skills training will be conducted on the UNMC Omaha campus for one week each semester.

Coursework consists of 20 credit hours and almost 600 hours of clinical training with a focus on management of emergency room care and care of patients in the hospital.

Graduates will be eligible to pursue board certification as acute care nurse practitioners.


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Michael Huckabee
February 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Congratulations on this grant award and your promotion of interprofessional education.