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CAMPUS DIGEST: Samford nursing school receives $2 million grant; Carson-Newman professor co-edits book on infertility

Samford’s School of Nursing Receives $2 Million Grant to Help Ease the National Shortage of Primary Care Providers
By Stephanie Wynn and Eric Holsomback

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Samford University’s Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing has received more than $2 million to improve the preparation of primary care nurse practitioner students committed to careers in medically underserved and rural areas.

Samford’s $2,600,000 Advanced Nursing Education Workforce program grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will use evidence-based guidelines to develop experiential learning activities focused on primary care. The students will receive practical experience in high-need and demanding healthcare settings.

The program will improve clinical competence, cultural humility, and self-care, which will aid students entering the workforce better prepared as providers in primary care settings. Students who complete the program will be equipped with the clinical and professional confidence and competencies necessary for efficient, effective, and productive practice to advance and improve the health of patients, families, and communities.

According to Melondie Carter, dean of the Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing, additional nurse practitioners are needed to meet the healthcare needs of the community. “We are excited about our opportunity to support students with this funding. The ANEW project provides an opportunity for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to address and manage Social Determinants of Health factors and improve health equity and literacy in medically underserved areas and populations,” she added.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports the demand for primary care services has increased significantly due to a growing and aging population, resulting in a shortage of between 37,000 to 124,000 primary care providers by 2034. Primary care nurse practitioners have the knowledge and skills to perform healthcare services to meet the needs of the community. Therefore, the probability that practices will increase the use of nurse practitioners is high.

“For nearly a decade, the school of nursing has recognized that a major primary care provider shortage is on the horizon,” said Stephanie Wynn, associate dean of scholarly activities for Moffett and Sanders School of Nursing and grant project director. “With the aid of the ANEW award, graduates of our program will be well-positioned to improve access to quality healthcare, especially for patients and families in rural and underserved communities where health inequities are common.”

The ANEW program will recruit registered nurses to earn a master’s or doctoral degree or a post-graduate certification with a concentration as a primary care nurse practitioner. The program will perpetuate the students’ transition to autonomous caregivers to fill a dire need in the healthcare system.  

Carson-Newman professor co-edits new book addressing struggle of infertility, fertility loss

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (BP) — A soon-to-be-released book co-edited by Carson-Newman University’s Dr. Megan Herscher explores issues of grief and chronic sorrow related to infertility and reproductive loss. “Working with Infertility and Grief A Practical Guide for Helping Professionals,” is described as being one of only a handful of books related to the topic, and the first of its kind geared toward equipping helping professionals who assist those grieving unrecognized losses.

Herscher serves as an associate professor of counseling at Carson-Newman. She is also the field placement coordinator and Clinical Mental Health Program coordinator for the University. Herscher says she was drawn to the project out of personal experience.

“My motivation was related to my struggle with infertility and subsequent embryo adoption resulting in the birth of my two youngest twins,” she said. “While this book is written as a clinical guide for mental health and medical professionals, I believe a strong crossover market for those struggling with infertility.”

Herscher co-authored the book with Drs. Whitney Jarnagin and Denis’ Thomas. The guide directly targets mental health professionals working with clients, supervisees, or students who have experienced infertility, miscarriage, or death of an infant. Readers will learn more about the crisis of infertility and reproductive loss, gain insight into the experience of those suffering, and acquire practical tools and strategies for helping and healing.

The book is available for pre-order and will ship after Aug. 4. Those interested can find the book on Amazon.

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