In 2011, the University of Michigan-Flint School of Health Professions & Studies was awarded a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services; Health Resources and Services Administration. The University of Michigan-Flint Initiative to Strengthen Care to Underserved Populations (UM-FISCUP) addresses a primary goal of Healthy People 2020; the elimination of health disparities by improving primary care for the underserved population via enhancement of advanced nursing education. The HRSA grant is a four-year funded project which focuses on the education of graduate nursing students in medically underserved areas. The $700,000 grant continues through June 2014 and provides for education with emphasis on evidence-based best practices and culturally competent health care to reduce health disparities. Increasing minority students in the Graduate Nursing program via scholarships and mentoring is also a priority.
In the first year of the grant, 82 graduate nursing students completed clinical experiences in underserved settings. This meets the grant’s objective of increasing student clinical placements in these areas with the projected outcome that students will be more likely to practice in underserved communities after graduation. Grant staff and faculty are working closely with medical providers to ensure clinical placements with preceptors serving disadvantaged populations.
Curriculum mapping has been completed to find gaps in evidence-based practice and cultural competency education in Graduate Nursing education in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
The grant currently provides an Evidence-Based Practice Center within the Urban Health and Wellness Center Primary Care Clinic for use by Graduate Nurse Practitioner students and includes access to the online resources UpToDate and Epocrates as well as several print publications.
The graduate nursing program has approximately 18% diversity with a goal to reach 24% diversity. An active student mentoring program is in place.