The Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) at Illinois State University has been awarded a $2.8 million Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The ANEW grant funds efforts to prepare advanced practice nurses to serve rural and underserved settings—especially with primary care. The grant is one of several federal HRSA grants awarded to MCN over the years to assist in training nurses to serve rural and underrepresented populations.

“In partnership with local community organizations that serve rural and vulnerable populations, MCN’s ANEW grant team strives to enhance clinical experiences for students in MCN’s Family Nurse Practitioner program,” said Jessica Sullivan, the Family Nurse Practitioner sequence leader. “The ANEW grant supports those partnerships, allowing us to increase access, provide care to vulnerable populations, and provide funds to defray some of the cost of tuition and other school-related expenses for our students.”

The grant will also help fund the development of a new, post-graduate MCN certificate geared toward training future nurse practitioners to address mental health needs. “The future Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) certificate will help our graduates provide comprehensive, integrated behavioral health care to these vulnerable individuals,” said Sullivan.

ANEW grant funds provide an opportunity to extend area partnerships, noted MCN Dean Judy Neubrander. “Our academic practice partnerships with service agencies such as Chestnut Heath Systems are another opportunity to strengthen community ties, and to be of service to our local residents,” she said.

More about the grant and Sullivan’s work can be found here.