Grant to Support Doctor of Nursing Practice Program
By Karen Angelo
UMass Lowell’s Department of Nursing received a three-year $732,044 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to recruit and retain diverse advanced-practice nurses in the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program.
By building a more diverse and skilled workforce, the “DNPs Caring for the Underserved after MA Healthcare Reform” grant is expected to help increase life expectancy, improve quality of life and eliminate health disparities for people in Lowell, Lawrence and other underserved areas.
“Advanced-practice nurses with practice doctorates have the potential to drive solutions that improve access to care, reduce costs and transform our health care system,” said Susan Houde, associate dean of the School of Health and Environment and leader of the project.
“With courses such as epidemiology, health care informatics and socioeconomic inequalities in health, our program is designed to provide nurses with a leadership view of health care issues and strategies to address them.”
The DNP program launched about two years ago in response to the need for evidence-based, cost-effective patient care for an aging and diverse population. Since the passage of health care reform legislation in Massachusetts in 2006, hundreds of thousands of previously uninsured people now have insurance, which increased the demand for primary care services, especially in underserved areas.
The UMass Lowell DNP Advantage
The grant provides students enrolled in UMass Lowell’s DNP program with distinct advantages over those in other programs. Resources for success include a mentoring program, seminars, online tools to enhance care to diverse populations, consultations with a diversity consultant and scholar and biostatistical support for scholarly projects.
“Health care is all about cost, access and quality,” said Assoc. Prof. Angela Nannini. “The vision with this grant is to do all that we can to foster this new level of nursing leadership that will redesign the health care system to improve care for diverse and underserved populations.”