A new $1.6 million dollar federal grant will help the University of Rhode Island train more nurse practitioners. The idea is to help community health centers, in particular, care for more patients.
URI will use the money to hire new teachers and give students more practice in community clinics and patient homes. The goal is to graduate 109 new nurse practitioners in three years.
That’s significant at a time when more Rhode Islanders have health insurance and are looking for primary care. Nurse practitioners can manage most of a patient’s primary care needs, such as prescribing medication and ordering tests.
The grant, from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, is part of a larger effort to improve care in underserved areas.