Family Nurse Practitioner Program Receives Grant Through S.C. Promise Zone

Qualified Nurses in the S.C. Promise Zone to Benefit

July 06, 2017

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has announced that USC College of Nursing’s Associate Dean for Practice Dr. Stephanie Burgess has been awarded a grant with support of the SC Promise Zone to increase the number of primary care Family Nurse Practitioners in South Carolina’s rural areas.

Effective July 1, 2017, the HRSA grant of $988,502 will be used to train 30 FNPs per year, for a total of 60, over the term of the grant.  The training program has an emphasis on rural and/or underserved communities and populations. 

“This is an important grant opportunity for qualified nurses in the SouthernCarolina Alliance region of Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties.  As the federally designated S.C. Promise Zone, applicants from our counties will receive top consideration in admission to the program,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance President Danny Black.

According to Dr. Burgess, Family Nurse Practitioner student clinical training will occur at agencies such as mental health facilities, primary care and women’s health clinics, federally qualified healthcare centers, rural health centers, free clinics, migrant clinics, and hospital/physician/NP owned primary care rural and/or underserved practices.

Eighty percent (80%) of the FNP students selected for funding will meet HRSA eligibility and represent diversity:  disadvantaged students (low income, first generation, “Promise Zone” resident, rural or underserved area residents) or under-represented individuals in the nursing profession (minorities -racial or ethnicity, veterans, and/or gender (males).” 

Fifty percent will report employment in rural or underserved areas within 6 months after graduation.

The SC Promise Zone, a federal grant initiative, is a designation to reduce poverty in both urban and rural areas.  SouthernCarolina Alliance applied for and received the designation in 2013 for the region.  The SC Promise Zone designation allows municipalities, government agencies, nonprofits, civic groups and others in the region to receive additional points on federal grant applications which serve the six counties of the Promise Zone (Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties.)

“Health care delivery in rural areas will continue to evolve, as it has over the last twenty years,” said SouthernCarolina Alliance Chairman Buddy Phillips.  “Family nurse practitioners trained through this grant will certainly help fill the needs of our communities as part of our overall health care delivery system, thereby improving quality of life for all.”

According to Dr. Burgess, the 21 FNPs completing the most recent FNP HRSA funded training program at USC, aimed at recruiting qualified RNs to become FNPs in order to serve rural or Promise Zone areas upon graduation, are now all serving SC rural communities or underserved populations.

For more information on this opportunity, please contact:

Stephanie Burgess, PhD, APRN, BC, FAANP
Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Clinical Professor, Associate Dean for Practice and Health Policy

USC, College of Nursing
1601 Greene Street
Columbia, SC  29208
Office: 803-777-2219 |

Dr. Stephanie Burgess, an Amy V. Cockcroft Leadership Fellow
Under Burgess’ leadership, the nurse practitioner training program at the University of South Carolina was named the #1 NP Program in the US by US NEWS and WORLD REPORT, 2016




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