Decker School of Nursing HRSA ANEW Scholars program
The Health Resources and Services Administration's (HRSA) Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program supports innovative academic-practice partnerships to prepare primary-care advanced-practice registered nursing students to practice in rural and underserved settings through academic and clinical training.
The Decker School received $1.2 million from HRSA in 2017 and launched its ANEW Scholars Program, which supports students in Decker’s Family Nurse Practitioner program who are from rural areas and wish to practice in those underserved areas once they are credentialed. In 2019, Decker received a $2.8 grant and has expanded the program to include more students.
- Increase targeted recruitment efforts of advanced-practice nurses in rural and underserved areas in upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania
- Increase employment and workforce retention of advanced-practice nurses in rural and underserved areas using a mentorship model of clinical education
- Enhance relationships with rural preceptors through a collaborative academic partnership
- Support preceptor development through profession using distance technology (webinars, support systems, remote faculty site visits)
- Continuing education on a series of nurse educator courses through distance learning
- Provide annual continuing education units specific to pharmacological updates in primary care
- Deliver telehealth support for providers in rural communities
- Increase knowledge of APRN students in rural health concepts and socialization into the discipline
Meet our ANEW Scholars
Students selected as ANEW Scholars must be from areas with a designated rural status of 4 or more as defined by the locale’s United States Department of Agriculture rural-urban community area code.
First-year students and where they are from
Second-year students and where they are from
ANEW Scholars program team
Nicole Rouhana, project director
Nicole Rouhana, MS '95, PhD '11, FACNM, FNP-BC, serves as project director for Decker's ANEW Scholars Program and was project director for Decker's HRSA Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship (AENT) Program. She is director of graduate programs and an assistant professor of nursing at Binghamton University's Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Rouhana has served in the nursing profession for more than 35 years and within higher education for 25 of those years. As a result, she has witnessed the need for better-prepared primary-care advanced-practice registered nurses to serve rural and underserved communities.
Rouhana's extensive clinical experience, involvement in local and national committees and doctorate in rural nursing have prepared her to serve as a mentor and positive example of extensive rural training. As director of graduate programs at the Decker School, she engages with all graduate nursing students and has the opportunity to identify those students who not only meet the requirements of a traineeship, but also who would best serve the populations that comprise rural and underserved communities.
As project director for the ANEW Scholars, Rouhana also serves as a close link with the practice sites, maintaining communication among students, preceptors and faculty.
Pamela Stewart Fahs, rural consultant
Pamela Stewart Fahs, MS '85, PhD, RN, who serves as rural consultant for Decker's ANEW Scholars Program, has an established record of academic preparation, clinical expertise and experience as an educator, and is highly competent in the area of rural healthcare. She serves as the Dr. G. Clifford and Florence B. Decker Endowed Chair in Rural Nursing, with a research and scholarship focus on the health of rural populations. She is also the editor-in-chief of the Online Journal of Rural Nursing and Health Care.
Fahs completed her early nursing training in eastern Kentucky prior to her appointment at Decker, where she has been since 1985. Her more than 30 years of academic experience have included both academic and professional honors for her work with rural populations. She has both peer-reviewed publications and funded research related to rural healthcare, rural health research, the needs of rural adolescents and women in rural communities. In 2016 Fahs won the Anna Mae Ericksen Award, presented by the Rural Nurse Organization (RNO), for outstanding leadership in rural nursing and provision of healthcare to rural populations.
Frances A. Munroe, clinical faculty liaison
Frances A. Munroe '81, MS '90, DNP, FNP-C, COHN-S is the clinical faculty liaison for Decker's ANEW Scholars project. She is a clinical assistant professor in the graduate nurse practitioner program at the Decker School of Nursing, and has 28 years of teaching experience.
Munroe completed her post-MS certificate as a FNP practitioner in 1993 and her DNP from George Washington University in 2014. She has worked in rural primary-care practice sites located in Candor, Newark Valley and Norwich, N.Y., utilizing an interdisciplinary team approach to provide healthcare services to underserved populations. She is also board certified by ANCC as a FNP, by ABOHN as an occupational health nurse specialist and practices part-time at the Ascension Lourdes Primary Care office in Vestal, N.Y.
Munroe is the Region 2 president-elect for the Nurse Practitioner Association New York State (NPA) and a co-founder of the Susquehanna Chapter of the NPA in Binghamton, N.Y.
As the clinical faculty liaison for the ANEW Scholars Program, she is directly involved with teaching graduate NP students in the classroom and clinical settings. She is also the faculty advisor for the NP students in the project, and maintains close communication with students and their preceptors through direct observation of their clinical skills during on-site visits to the rural health practices.
Ann E. Fronczek, nurse educator consultant
Ann E. Fronczek, MS '99, PhD, RN, serves as the nurse educator consultant for the preceptor development and mentorship aspect for the ANEW Scholars project. She has been a faculty member at Decker College since 1999, teaching courses in curriculum development and implementation, course development, education technology and leadership in nursing education. She previously served as Decker's director of undergraduate programs, where she provided oversight for traditional, accelerated and RN-BS completion programs.
Fronczek's research and scholarship work is in the area of telehealth, with recent grant funding to establish an infrastructure at Binghamton University to create the Southern Tier Telemedicine and Mobile Health Research, Development, and Training Center (STTMH-RDTC). The center is a collaboration between Binghamton University's nursing and engineering schools, in partnership with regional healthcare providers.
Within the ANEW project, Fronczek is developing the training center for telehealth. She also serves as a nurse planner for the DSON 's continuing education program, which reviews and plans programs for continuing education credit, and will support the preceptor continuing education development for this project.
Sandeep Krishnan, technology consultant
Sandeep Krishnan, MBA, MS, who serves as the DSON HRSA ANEW Scholars Program technology consultant, is the president of MedTec InterLinx, LLC, an independent healthcare technology consulting practice focusing on broadband infrastructure development and technology integration in clinical settings through the use of telemedicine.
He has more than 20 years of experience in the areas of telehealth and distance-learning systems implementation; video-conferencing technologies; operating-room systems integration; and wireless and broadband systems design, development and integration. In addition, Krishnan has extensive experience in strategic planning, business development, marketing and sales, and grants development and implementation.
As technology consultant, Krishnan will support the project's installation and implementation of telehealth equipment to facilitate strong academic-practice communication between faculty, preceptors and students. He will also support strategic planning for sustainability, including identifying other funding sources to support the development of a business model to maintain the telehealth infrastructure established through the ANEW project.
These Decker College staff are also integral members of the support team for the HRSA ANEW Scholars Program:
- Jean E. Dorak, assistant dean
- Suzanne Williams, secretary