ATLANTA – Mercer University’s Georgia Baptist College of Nursing recently received approval from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residency (PC-NPR) Program with the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin during the 2021-2022 academic year.
“The effects of inadequate primary health care access, particularly in rural parts of the state, are widely known,” said Linda Streit, Ph.D., RN, dean of the College of Nursing. “In rural Georgia, several counties have no primary care physician, and another 13 counties have only one primary care physician serving the entire county. Lack of access to care is a major concern for veterans living in the state. As a state with one of the lowest health scores, Georgia must utilize advanced practice professionals, including nurse practitioners, in the delivery of health care, particularly in rural Georgia.”
Mercer’s program will begin with two residency positions in fall 2021, with as many as four positions available in future years contingent on the successful implementation and administration of the program.
“As an academic affiliate of the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center, we intend to partner in a mutually beneficial relationship as the Medical Center develops and strengthens the PC-NPR Program,” said Humberto Reinoso, Ph.D., RN, FNP, ENP-BC, assistant professor and nurse practitioner coordinator. “We have identified faculty who will provide academic support and assistance to the VA nurse educators as they establish an educational infrastructure for the residency program. In return, we welcome the rich clinical opportunities the Medical Center may provide to our students.”
Mercer’s College of Nursing will serve as a pipeline for its newly graduated Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) and Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners (AGPCNPs) to apply and be considered for postgraduate training in the residency program.
The College of Nursing offers multiple professional degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Its Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN to DNP) programs offer multiple specialty tracks, including AGPCNP and FNP. The College also recently added post-master’s certificate programs for AGPCNPs and FNPs.
Since 1948, Carl Vinson VA Medical Center has been improving the health of the men and women who have so proudly served the United States. Services are available to veterans living in the Middle Georgia area, with community-based outpatient clinics in Albany, Brunswick, Macon, Milledgeville, Perry and Tifton.
About the College of Nursing
Founded in 1902 as a school of nursing, the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the longest established nursing program in Georgia. Over its 118-year history, the College has graduated more than 8,500 nurses. The College remains dedicated to educating the person, fostering the passion and shaping the future of nursing. The College merged with Mercer in 2001 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (including a traditional BSN, RN-BSN and an Accelerated BSN), a Master of Science in Nursing, a Doctor of Nursing Practice and a Ph.D. in nursing. The College of Nursing is one of four academic units within the Mercer Health Sciences Center, along with the School of Medicine, College of Pharmacy and College of Health Professions. For more information, visit nursing.mercer.edu.