Scottsdale Healthcare to share in $200M for nurse training

Teri Pipe

(Phoenix Business Journal) In an effort to address the primary care provider shortage across the state,Scottsdale Healthcare has been selected among five hospitals nationwide for a $200 million federally funded project.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave a four-year, $200 million grant to five U.S. hospitals, including Scottsdale Healthcare to train advanced practice registered nurses, or APRNs.

In Arizona, SHC will team with Arizona State University, University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon University to train more than 400 APRNs.

Arizona Health Futures reports a shortfall of about 2,500 of advanced practice nurses.

In the past, the cost of clinical training has limited the ability of hospitals and other health care providers to accept more advanced practice nursing students into their clinical training programs.

With this federal funding, payments to Scottsdale Healthcare will be linked to the number of additional APRNs the hospital and university partners are able to train in the HHS Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration Project. The more students, the more funding Scottsdale Healthcare will receive on an annual basis.

Teri Pipe, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU, said her program will be able to educate 72 additional nurse practitioners and hire clinical instructors over the life of the four-year project. The first group of 24 students has been enrolled for fall semester.

“We need a lot more primary care providers in this country,” she said. “With health care reform, a number of people will have new access to care. We’ll really need to ramp up our primary care system.”

This kind of call to action has been heightened by the Future of Nursing Report, which says the nation needs to double the number of bachelor’s prepared nurses by 2020 so that 80 percent of the nation’s nurses have bachelor’s degrees.

The way health care is changing as a result of health care reform, care coordination and primary care are going to be very critical, she said.

“Nurses are very well equipped, especially advanced practice nurses, to help in that system,” she said.

Peggy Reiley, senior vice president and chief clinical officer for Scottsdale Healthcare, said growing the ranks of advanced practice nurses is an important way to make health care more accessible and address Arizona’s shortage of primary care physicians and advanced practice nurses.

“We’re proud to partner with Arizona’s leading nursing schools in this first-of-its-kind collaboration to help increase access to quality health care for all Arizonans,” she said.

The other four hospitals that are part of the demonstration project are Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia;Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C.; Rush University Medical Center in Chicago; and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Hospital in Houston, Texas.

The demonstration will be operated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, which was created by the Affordable Care Act to test innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce expenditures and enhance quality of care.