Intercom Online......July 17, 2000

Rural communities to benefit
from University nursing initiative

An ongoing initiative by Penn State's School of Nursing to provide rural areas in the state with better access to health care recently received a boost in funding in the form of a three-year, $900,545 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The grant is intended to help recruit, retain and graduate bachelor-prepared nurses from rural communities into Penn State's Family Nurse Practitioner master's degree program. The program is for nurses who want to function in an expanded role as a family nurse practitioner, providing direct care to individuals and families throughout the life span.

The project, which started July 1, is under the direction of Elizabeth J. Corwin, assistant professor of nursing and coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner program. The program incorporates interactive video and Internet-delivered courses to better meet the needs of nurses in rural communities who otherwise would be isolated from educational opportunities.

Corwin said educating family nurse practitioner students in their rural home communities should increase the likelihood that they will remain at home to practice after graduation. This project addresses the needs of bachelor-prepared nurses in Elk, Tioga, Luzerne, Franklin, Fayette and Mercer counties.

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