During an undergraduate nursing class on health care and vulnerable populations, Barbara Aranda-Naranjo, PhD, RN, FAAN, challenged her students to ask how they could make a difference in communities that have few basic health care resources.
Their answer? A professional nursing corps called Nurses for America, which last year received a $20,000 grant from Americorps: the Corporation for National and Community Service. Nurses for America is the first nurse-focused AmeriCorps-funded grant.
On Tuesday, March 28, Dr. Aranda-Naranjo will discuss the Nurses for America program at the annual Hugh P. Davis lecture, held at Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. The lecture will be held at 4 p.m. in Room 101 in the School of Nursing building, located at 1520 Clifton Road on the Emory campus.
Dr. Aranda-Naranjo, the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Endowed Chair in Values-Based Health Care in Georgetown University's School of Nursing & Health Studies, collaborated with Georgetown faculty and nursing students to obtain the AmeriCorps grant, which funds recruitment, training and placement of nurses in underserved areas for a period of two years per recruit. Nurse members who complete a one-year term of service are eligible for education awards totaling $94,500 funded by AmeriCorps.
"This program seeks to address two of the most critical issues in health care today -- an increasing number of uninsured and under-insured Americans who need regular primary health care, and a shortage of professional registered nurses," said Dr. Aranda-Naranjo. "The aim of the grant is to help address the nursing shortage in community health centers, public health departments, and faith-based clinics, which are the 'safety net' health care providers for the uninsured and low-income workers and their families."
Nurses for America's goals include increasing access to nursing care for underserved vulnerable populations, improving the delivery of quality health care to vulnerable populations, and increasing the knowledge, skills and attitudes of nurse members regarding citizenship.