The Decker School of Nursing received a $350,000 grant that will fully fund the traineeship of Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) students at Binghamton University. The project aims to place nurses into rural and underserved populations at a faster rate.

"It is important that our schools have the tools and resources they need to train the next generations of nurses," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who helped secure the funding. "We currently are facing a shortage of primary care professionals, and this funding will go a long way to ensure we have more trained nurses ready to address 21st century healthcare challenges. The Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University will use this investment to prepare their students with the experience they need to become advanced practice primary care providers."

The Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) grant will be used to implement a project that provides traineeship funding to 17 full-time graduate students enrolled in advanced practice nursing programs who are studying primary care need. The project aims to accelerate graduation time and increase the number of students enrolled in nursing programs that are underrepresented minorities, veterans, and/or come from rural areas.

"We are particularly excited, as this has the potential to enhance recruitment and retention of the APRN workforce in rural populations," said Nicole Rouhana, director of graduate nursing programs at Binghamton University. "Because students from rural counties are oftentimes already established as respected community members, they tend to remain in place and not relocate. This helps create a stable rural workforce that is already in place and is familiar with the community and the existing strengths and challenges."

The project will be monitored during the academic year through specific measures of academic progression, clinical training activities, time to degree and national certification pass rates.

Funding for the project is granted based on the project’s effectiveness in improving rural populations and addressing its needs. Decker has successfully implemented and completed AENT grants previously and, as a result, has been able to increase the school’s capacity over the last five years.

The project takes place during the 2016-2017 academic year. Seventeen students have already been selected and will begin registration in July.