UAB nursing school gets $1.1 million grant to train Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

  1. UAB nursing school gets $1.1 million grant to train Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The UAB School of Nursing is getting $1.1 million in federal money to help put more psychiatric nurse practitioners into the workforce, especially into rural areas where there is a great need.

    "The psych nurse practitioners are ideal for community based care," said project director Teena McGuinness, professor of nursing and interim assistant dean for graduate clinical programs. "We are trying to work in a complimentary interdisciplinary role with counselors, psychiatrists and doctors."

    As the state continues to close psychiatric hospitals -- 10 have been shuttered in the past 15 years -- and moves toward community-based care, these kind of broadly trained psychiatric nurse practitioners are greatly needed, she said.

    "If you look at the insured population, 30 percent will have some psychiatric disorder," McGuinness said. But in the uninsured population, served, for example, by a public clinic, "about 50 percent will have a psychiatric disorder."...

    ...For the three-year grant, UAB committed to admitting 10 students into the program each year, but McGuinness said it will likely be closer to 30.

    One key component of the grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will be for training of both nurse practitioners and health care "informatic" professionals in using information technology to guide best practices in managing psychiatric conditions.

    As part of the grant, the nursing school is partnering with graduate health information management students from the UAB School of Health Professions and counselor education students from the UAB College of Arts and Sciences to integrate their knowledge and experiences...
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