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Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania selected to lead US nurse-training initiative

The Department of Health and Human Services has selected the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) as one of five hospitals that will take part in a nationwide initiative designed to train more nurses at a higher level. Funded by the Affordable Care Act, the Graduate Nurse Education (GNE) Demonstration will award HUP approximately $36 million over four years to increase training opportunities for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) a superior designation given to nurses with post-graduate training who are able to diagnose illnesses, prescribe medication and treatment regimens, and perform procedures consistent with their scope of practice.

The GNE aims to strengthen the nation's primary care work force by placing more APRNs in practice and thereby increasing the ranks of primary and preventive caregivers to help fill gaps in non-hospital community-based settings, including in underserved areas.

"This grant affords us the opportunity to provide advanced training to hundreds of nurses over the next four years, which could really make a difference to the quality of care we deliver to our patients," said Victoria Rich, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chief Nurse Executive at HUP. "We're honored to lead this effort for the Philadelphia region and are thrilled that HHS recognizes the pivotal role nurses play in patient safety and the need for more in-depth training to improve patient care on a national level."

HUP's portion of the roughly $200 award will be used by multiple clinical sites to offset their costs of clinical education of advanced practice nurses. HUP will manage and administer the grant funding for the program, which will also include participation from Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and Pennsylvania Hospital.

"Having more of these kinds of skilled nurses will increase access to essential healthcare services," said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of HHS during a press conference to announce the program participants. "With this important initiative, we are putting more advanced practice nurses on the front lines of our health care system and further strengthening and growing our primary care workforce."

Joining HUP in the initiative are Duke University Hospital (Durham, NC), Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center (Scottsdale, AZ), Rush University Medical Center (Chicago, IL) and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Hospital (Houston, TX). For more on the demonstration, operated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation, please visit:

Contact: Katie Delach
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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