Presbyterian Healthcare Services and the University of New Mexico College of Nursing are partnering to expand access to health care in rural communities by creating a nurse practitioner residency program. The program will be funded by a $3.2 million grant awarded to Presbyterian by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
The nurse practitioner residency program will focus on providing care in medically underserved areas where there is a clinician shortage. Nine of the 10 communities served through this grant also have higher-than-average poverty rates. The Presbyterian Medical Group clinics that will be part of the residency are located in Capitan, Carrizozo, Corona, Ruidoso, southwest Albuquerque, Socorro, Belen, Los Lunas and Tucumcari.
“We are excited to partner with the UNM College of Nursing to create this program,” said Johanna Stiesmeyer, Presbyterian's director of clinical education and professional development. “I am extremely confident that this will be a major success and not only afford amazing rural workforce support and staffing but also make a significant difference in the care in our regional, underserved sites.”
The residency is designed to equip the nursing residents with “the necessary knowledge, experience, confidence, cultural competency and support to serve as primary care providers in rural and underserved clinic settings,” according to the HRSA grant proposal submitted by Presbyterian and UNM.
Carolyn Montoya, PhD, CPNP, associate dean of clinical affairs in the UNM College of Nursing, is overseeing implementation and evaluation of the residency program’s curriculum in partnership with the Presbyterian team. She said the nursing residents will be better equipped to serve people with complex and multiple health issues.
“New graduates of these programs will have the opportunity to spend their first year in practice as advanced practice nurse residents in rural clinics,” Montoya said. “The expectation is that the extra educational and clinical support will result in retention of these providers in rural communities throughout New Mexico.”
Clinical priorities for the program include combating the opioid crisis, addressing mental health issues and providing value-based care.
HRSA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary federal agency tasked with improving health care for people who are geographically isolated or economically or medically vulnerable.