The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has awarded Frontier Nursing University (FNU) two grants totaling $4,140,000. The HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training grant totals $1,920,000 and the Nursing Workforce Diversity grant totals $2,220,000. HRSA, which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will award the funding for both grants in annual installments over the next four years.
“We are so thrilled and thankful to have been awarded these grants by the Health Resources and Services Administration,” FNU President Dr. Susan Stone said. “These funds will enable us to expand on the important work we are already doing to address two glaring needs in our nation’s healthcare system: a shortage of psychiatric-mental health nurse providers and a lack of diversity among healthcare providers. We have been dedicated and intentional in our efforts to prepare our students to fill these needs, and the HRSA grants are verification of our leadership in these areas of focus and of our potential to make substantially more progress in the years ahead.”
The Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) grant project will be led by Dr. Jess Calohan, DNP, PMHNP-BC, Chair of FNU’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Department. The project period extends from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2025, with the award for the first year totaling $480,000. The goal of the project is to increase the number of psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners who are diverse in race, ethnicity, and other underrepresented populations serving in rural and medically underserved communities through collaboration with clinical Experiential Training Site partners. The grant project will support curriculum development related to child/adolescent care, interprofessional team-based trauma-informed care, and additional telehealth simulations. Importantly, this grant will provide $290,000 annually in scholarships for Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students.
The Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) grant will be led by FNU Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Geraldine Young, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, CDCES, FAANP. The project period extends from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2025, with the award for the first year totaling $555,000. The overarching goal of the NWD program is to increase the number and diversity of certified nurse-midwives across the United States who serve in rural and underserved areas in an effort to prevent and reduce maternal mortality. Central to this is the need to increase nurse-midwifery education and training opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds and see them through to success. The grant provides $166,500 annually for scholarships for nurse-midwifery students of color.
FNU’s objectives of the project are to increase its percentage of students of color (SOC) enrolled in the certified nurse-midwifery program to 30% by 2025, to retain at least 85% of nurse-midwifery SOC, and to graduate a total of 75 nurse-midwifery SOC every year during the grant period (2021-2025). Additionally, FNU aims to increase the percentage of its faculty of color to 20% by 2025 and to retain at least 85% of faculty of color during the grant period.
“Research has shown that healthcare outcomes improve when culturally concordant care is provided,” Dr. Stone said. “These grant projects align with our own strategic plan goals to increase the diversity of our student body, our faculty, and our staff, with the understanding that doing so will improve the health care system in the U.S.”