- The Biden Administration recently dedicated $30 million in grants to the Advanced Nursing Education Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship program.
- The awards to 45 grantees are designed to support established nurse practitioner residency and fellowship programs and create new opportunities.
- The ultimate goal is a higher number of NPs and accredited NP programs, both of which can help address the nation’s ongoing nursing workforce shortage.
On August 10, the Biden Administration committed $100 million to help train nurses and grow the nursing workforce to ease the nation’s nursing shortage.
Five nursing programs received awards to help address the nursing shortage. The key priorities are to train nurses who will work in primary care, mental health, and maternal healthcare and address the bottleneck in training by supporting the development of more nursing faculty.
Within this package, $30 million is dedicated to the Advanced Nursing Education Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Program, which focuses on training nurse practitioners (NPs).
Here’s what you need to know about this program, the grant funding, and how exactly NP training will be impacted.
What is the Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Program?
The Nurse Practitioner Residency Fellowship Program is a grant program for advanced nursing education administered through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). As part of the recent gift, about $30 million was distributed across 45 grantees, including university programs, hospitals, health centers, and research corporations.
The grant funding opportunities are designed to support NP residencies and fellowships. Most programs are seeking candidates who completed their education less than 18 months before enrollment to offer the best support for their professional growth.
Fellowship and residency programs have distinct similarities and differences. During a fellowship, NPs grow their expertise within a specialization, while a residency program is not focused on a specialty but rather helps an NP cross the bridge between education and hands-on practice.
Completing a residency program allows a more gradual and supported entry into independent practice. This provides a foundation for new grads who are often expected to treat high volumes of patients with complex health scenarios. Many residencies and fellowships offer rotations through different specialties, allowing NPs to focus their experience within broader specialties, including addiction medicine, gastroenterology, and pulmonology.
Residencies also offer didactic sessions, either alone or in conjunction with family medicine residents, and an NP may be asked to evaluate a patient care delivery method as part of a quality improvement project. These programs are valuable since NPs are heavily relied on to care for complex patients. Although they are gaining in popularity, the programs are still relatively rare, which the funding from the Biden Administration hopes to change.
How Will the Program Use This $30 Million?
The funding opportunity for the Advanced Nursing Education Nurse Practitioner Residency and Fellowship Program is currently closed, as the dates to apply were from February 10, 2023, to April 11, 2023. This is a new funding opportunity to address the nursing shortage, the purpose of which is to prepare advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to provide primary care through nurse practitioner residency and fellowship training programs.
The goals of the funding opportunity are to support established residency and fellowship programs or expand existing programs with a focus on accreditation. Programs that were eligible to apply included accredited schools of nursing, academic health centers, state or local governments, and other nonprofit or public entities that are approved by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Those institutions and entities that were granted funding must use it to train postgraduate APRNs to serve in primary care settings, including rural, urban, and tribal underserved populations. The primary goals of the program are to:
- Expand or enhance nurse practitioner residency programs
- Increase the number of NPs serving in underserved community-based settings
- Integrate greater numbers of behavioral health and maternal health NPs into community-based settings
- Strengthen the clinical competency and readiness of new primary care NPs
- Integrate NPs focused on behavioral health and maternal health into residency programs
- Increase access to quality primary care providers in underserved community-based settings by placing those who complete the residency programs in rural, urban, and tribal underserved areas
- Expand the academic practice partnerships that integrate primary care, maternal health, and behavioral health to help address the needs of the populations they serve
The money for the program was distributed across Alabama, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia to name a few of the states. The highest grant was $700,000, and 30 programs received $699,000 or more.
The hope is that this money will expand established programs, lead to a higher number of accredited programs, and be used to establish new NP residency and fellowship programs to help create an environment where new graduates are capable and effective at treating highly complex patients.
Residencies are perfect for NPs without years of bedside experience who prefer more supervised clinical experience than what they received during their education. With this grant money, there should be more spots open to meet the needs of primary care practitioners.