Rivier receives $2.04 million nursing grant

Staff photo by Adam Urquhart The Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded Rivier University a $2.04 million federal nursing grant.

NASHUA – “The majority of nursing practice no longer takes place solely in the hospital setting,” Rivier University Dean of Nursing and Healthcare Professions Paula Williams said in announcing a $2.04 million federal grant to bolster students’ education.

“Patients are being discharged from the hospital earlier and continue their recovery at home or within community-based health settings,” she continued in discussing the need to prepare nursing students to work in home health care setting.

With an aging generation, shifts in treatment settings, escalations in substance use disorder and mental illness diagnoses, the grant will expand primary care training for registered nurses.

“The grant will fund innovative training that directly impacts students’ workforce preparation and their ability to provide high quality care in a wide range of treatment settings,” Rivier President Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, said. “Rivier-educated community health nurses will focus on regional medical needs, especially those resulting from the mounting opioid crisis and the rapidly growing elderly population.”

The four-year $2.04 nursing education grant was awarded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Right off the bat, Rivier will immediately receive $631,106. There will then be future year disbursements at $462,335 in 2019, $468,379 in 2020 and $475,191 in 2021, subject to established guidelines.

“We look forward to working with you to achieve a sustainable primary care nursing workforce equipped with the competencies necessary to address pressing national public health issues, even the distribution of the nursing workforce, improve access to care and improve population health outcomes,” the grant award letter states.

Rivier’s new education program, Project REEP – Registered Nurse Enhanced Education for Primary Care – will offer an enriched Bachelor of Science in Nursing BSN) curriculum, preceptor and faculty training, ongoing education, academic practice partnerships and a community advisory board.

Through the grant, Rivier plans to purchase tools such as telehealth equipment and mannequins, for the university’s simulation lab, which will include a home setting for treatment exercises and practice.

“Today, community health nurses are taking care of the acute and chronically ill patients within the home setting,” Williams said. “Rivier’s enhanced education program will prepare nurses for success in this new paradigm.”

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.