Allen College Receives Federal Grant to Address Advanced Practice Nursing Shortage

July 14, 2009

Allen College has received its largest-ever federal grant to help meet a critical need for advanced practice nurses in Iowa. The three-year, $871,170 Advanced Education Nursing Program grant is from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

It provides support for the College to develop online courses for the acute care (AC) and adult psychiatric/mental health (APMH) nurse practitioner tracks of the Allen College Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program. The College’s AC nurse practitioner program, the only one in Iowa, opened in 2008 and will enroll more than 20 students this fall. The APMH nurse practitioner program, one of only two in Iowa, started last fall and currently enrolls eight students.

The grant will support an Allen College project called Iowa’s Nurse Practitioner Education – Responding to Shortages through Outreach to Nurses (IN-PERSON). The primary purpose of the IN-PERSON project is to increase the number of AC APMH advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs). IN-PERSON proposes to enhance Allen College’s MSN program offerings through the use of distance learning. “This is a very significant grant for Allen College,” said Allen College Chancellor Dr. Jerry Durham. “The IN-PERSON project will eliminate time and distance barriers and enable nurses residing throughout rural Iowa to access and complete educational programs, resulting in greater numbers of critically needed practitioners in mental health and acute care.”

Allen College Grant

By incorporating distance learning options through IN-PERSON, Allen College will be able to: 

  • Produce more AC and APMH ARNPs residing and practicing throughout Iowa 
  • Address the workforce shortage of highly trained mental health practitioners with prescriptive authority
  • Remove time and distance barriers for nurses wishing to complete the MSN degree
  • Increase the pool of potential nursing faculty prepared to teach in the areas of acute care and mental health nursing
  • Expand the number of clinical preceptors in rural and medically underserved areas

The $871,170 federal grant represents 78 percent of the projected $1,114,694 budget for the project. The remaining 22 percent, $243,524 will be financed through non- federal sources.

IN-PERSON program directors are Dr. Susan Dawson, Allen College Dean of Academic Affairs and Professor of Nursing, and Dr. Nancy Kramer, Allen College Professor and Associate Dean, Division of Nursing. Both Drs. Dawson and Kramer are nurse practitioners.

For more information on Allen College, call 319-226-2000 or visit Allen College has been offering nursing education since 1925 and became a degree-granting institution in 1989. Its nursing programs are nationally accredited. In addition to BSN and MSN programs, the college offers an Associate of Science in Radiography program and a Bachelor of Health Sciences program.

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