Nursing Program Receives Federal Grant, Partners with Duke

November 8, 2012

The Division of Nursing at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will be supporting advanced nursing education through two new efforts.  The program was awarded a $699,000 grant from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration to assist with tuition and fees for students enrolled in the family nurse practitioner option.  A special focus of the grant is on recruiting applicants from the military services, veterans and their families.  The long-term goal of the two-year Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) grant is to encourage students to work in underserved areas after graduation. 

"This funding can increase the number, the diversity and the regional distribution of advanced practice nurses who often serve as the primary healthcare provider in underserved rural and urban population areas of North Carolina," said Dr. Lenora Campbell, associate dean of the Division of Nursing.  "The AENT support will allow our students to devote more time to academic activities to enhance their success.  The funding will also allow students to pursue full-time versus part-time study.   Both of these will help to address the state’s shortage of primary care providers by graduating a continuous supply of practitioners who are well qualified to provide high quality, culturally relevant health care."

WSSU is also partnering with Duke University School of Nursing to establish a Bridges to the Doctorate program, only one of two such programs for nurses in the United States.  The $1,245,190 five-year project is being funded by the National Institute of General Medicine.  It is designed to increase the number of minority nursing students enrolled in the master’s program at WSSU who are prepared for the Ph.D. programs in nursing and other related biomedical and behavioral science disciplines at Duke University.  The two universities will collaborate to develop and teach courses at both the WSSU and Duke campuses, as well as create two-year long mentoring relationships among students and WSSU and Duke researchers.

"The program is innovative for its ability to match students with mentors early in their studies and to maintain consistent, substantive mentoring," said Campbell.  "The students will also be involved in research activities through the use of face-to-face support and video conferencing technology.  The Bridges program will create a pipeline of well-trained, highly-skilled, under-represented minority nursing professionals with the needed knowledge and abilities for successful research careers to address health disparities."

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