Indiana needs more nurses in primary care settings. Community Health Network recently received more than $2.5 million in federal funds to address this need.
The award from the Health Resources and Services Administration will allow Community Health to expand a partnership with the University of Indianapolis School of Nursing. The school will add a first of its kind minor in primary care.
Community Health chief nursing executive Jean Putnam says this will be a game changer.
"We’re going to transform this," says Putnam. "We’re going to transform current nursing practice in primary care and undergraduate nursing education."
The new program will add training that nurses don’t always receive including preventative screenings, disease management and mental health.
Putnam says traditionally nursing programs have not had this focus.
"A lot of new graduate nurses don’t enter the primary care world necessarily, they want to work in acute care or hospitals – and that’s honestly where a lot of their training has been," says Putnam.
Community Health Network will establish new primary care nursing positions in designated health professional shortages areas in central Indiana.