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Large Grant Funds Innovative Program to Train Nurses at Bassett and Increase Access to Primary Care


Tera Lopez, a licensed practical nurse at Bassett’s Richfield Springs health center, prepares for patient appointments at the start of the day.

A new $2.7 million grant will enable Bassett Medical Center and four regional schools of nursing to create a program that will provide increased education for nurses who already work at Bassett and train new nurses who want to work in rural health care. Ultimately this program will help rural patients gain greater access to primary care. By offering additional educational opportunities to nurses, the program also seeks to help nurses maintain a high level of satisfaction in their work. 

Bassett obtained the support for this program from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, or HRSA, which funds innovative programs that promise to boost the health of rural and economically vulnerable populations. 

The program will be rolled out in phases. In the first phase of the program, licensed practical nurses who work at Bassett’s ambulatory care centers will receive support for additional education, building credits toward their associate degree and certification as an RN. 

Bassett nurses who already have certification as RNs but want to earn Bachelor of Science degrees may also receive support through this program, including compensation for primary coursework needed for that degree.

Funds from this grant will also be used to support professional development and continuing education programs for practicing nurses and clinicians working in primary care.

SUNY Morrisville Division of Nursing, University of Rochester School of Nursing, SUNY Binghamton University Decker School of Nursing, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute Department of Nursing are partnering with Bassett Medical Center to create this program. Bassett’s community health centers and school-based health centers are likely sites for clinical training, where chronic disease prevention and control, mental health, and substance use conditions may be emphasized. 

Both caregivers and patients will benefit, as provider education levels rise and patients’ access to primary care increases.

Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network

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