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Mercy College Awarded $1.79 Million HRSA Grant for CARE Nursing Project

Posted by Jim Tagye on Jun 1, 2018 12:49:47 PM

The $1.79 Million HRSA Grant will support Mercy College’s CARE Nursing Program

173F4443Mercy College of Health Sciences has been awarded a $1.79 million grant by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through its Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention of Registered Nurses in Primary Care Training Program. The funding will be dispersed over four years and will fund a new initiative at Mercy College, the Community Advocacy Registered Nurse Education (CARE) project. Mercy College is the only institution in Iowa to receive this competitive federal award.

The CARE project will increase the number of nursing students and registered nurses trained and working to the full scope of their licenses in community-based primary care teams in Iowa. This project will be administered by the Mercy College School of Nursing and several community-based practice partnership sites. CARE will serve a seven-county region in Iowa and includes both urban and rural communities.

“We sincerely appreciate this significant grant from HRSA. The funding will make a lasting and meaningful impact by enabling important work at Mercy College,” said Mercy Foundation President Shannon Cofield.

The CARE project was developed based on existing successful academic-clinical partnerships and the capacity to impact hundreds of Iowa’s future and current nurses.

“Mercy College is at the forefront of creating a robust health care talent development pipeline in Central Iowa,” said incoming Mercy College President, Dr. Doug Fiore.

“This award allows us to continue to build and grow this pipeline to ensure a skilled nursing workforce in Des Moines and throughout Iowa.”

The CARE project goals are to:

  • Increase the number of undergraduate nursing students receiving clinical practice experience in community-based primary care settings.
  • Increase the knowledge and competencies of nursing students needed to practice to the full scope of their license in primary care.
  • Increase the number of nursing graduates who choose to work in community-based primary care settings.
  • Improve the health care knowledge and competencies of practicing registered nurses working in primary care and with vulnerable populations.

The project’s goals will be accomplished through several activities, including:

  • Enhancing the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program curriculum, both didactic and clinical training, to incorporate more primary care concepts and training.
  • Expanding student primary care learning opportunities via simulation and interprofessional education.
  • Developing a primary care immersion clinical program to provide longitudinal training for students; establishing a clinical preceptor peer mentor program.
  • Providing primary care continuing education to hundreds of Iowa’s current registered nurses.
  • Connecting graduates to primary care employers.


CARE is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of an award totaling $1,790,804 with 0% financed with non-governmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

The purpose of HRSA’s Nurse four-year Education, Practice, Quality and Retention of Registered Nurses in Primary Care Training Program is to recruit and train nursing students and current registered nurses to practice to the full scope of their license in community-based primary care teams to increase access to care, with an emphasis on chronic disease prevention and control, including mental health and substance use conditions. The program aims 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 by strengthening the capacity for basic nurse education and practice and addressing national nursing needs under three priority areas: education, practice and retention, as authorized by PHS Act sections 831(a)-(c) and 831A(a)-(c).

Topics: $1.79 Million HRSA Grant