Fresno State wins state funding to enhance nurse practitioner program

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Fresno State wins state funding to enhance nurse practitioner program

California State University, Fresno is one of 13 nursing programs in the state and one of two in the San Joaquin Valley to receive state funding to enhance nurse practitioner and physician assistant training programs.

Fresno State received a $155,194 award from the $1.5 million announced by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development’s Song-Brown Program. Fresno State will use the award to enhance psychiatric mental health training in its nurse practitioner program.

“The funds will be used to develop psychiatric curriculum and clinical rotations for all our nurse practitioner students,” said Dr. Michael Russler, chair of the Nursing Department at Fresno State. “Mental health complaints are very common in family practice. It is estimated that one in five patients see their primary care providers for a psychiatric disorder. The enhanced curriculum and clinical experiences will help our graduates meet the health care needs of our region.”

Earlier this year, Fresno State received a two-year $364,947 award from the Song-Brown program to train 20 additional students in the undergraduate nursing program and to increase the number of nursing faculty in the Valley.

Fresno State graduates more than 110 registered nurses each year, 85 percent of whom stay in the Valley and help address the growing health needs of communities.

“Since the nurse education training program began, 67 students have completed the two-unit course and 60 of them are working as nursing faculty members,” explained Dr. Mary Barakzai, director of the Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing at Fresno State.

Recent funding also will support the development of a network of current nursing faculty to serve as master teacher mentors throughout the Valley for students in the Nurse Educator Certificate Program.

The Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing addresses the region’s nursing shortage through research, policy, promotion of advanced nursing education and practice, and collaboration with regional nursing leadership and interests.

“With the financial support from agencies such as the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the center is able to collaboratively provide long-term solutions and support for the region’s efforts in addressing the growing shortage of nurses,” said Barakzai.

For more information, contact Barakzai at maryb@csufresno.edu.

Related link:
Department of Nursing