June 13, 2008
MUW part of nursing consortium
By Jill D. O’Bryant
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Mississippi University for
Women’s nursing program
and those of four other universities in Mississippi
are forming a
consortium to offer programs in geriatric nurse
practitioner (GNP) and
mental health nurse practitioner (MHNP).
“Mississippi has a great need for providers in both
mental health in the more rural areas of the state,”
said Dr. Patsy
Smyth, chair of the Department of Graduate Nursing.
“This grant will
help fill that void.
“With the graying of America and increasing numbers
needing counseling or follow up for mental health
reasons, this grant
will be a godsend. The five universities will be at
the forefront of
fulfilling a health need that has a dearth of
providers in the rural
areas of our state.”
Other schools participating in the consortium are
University, Delta State University, University of
Center and University of Southern Mississippi.
The grant, which is made possible by the Health
Administration, is for $1.2 million for three years
with the first year
being funded at $450,000 since the start up costs
are more for the first
year. Much of the money will go toward updating the
the schools such as Internet and communication
hardware and software.
“I was ecstatic that the grant was funded, said
Smyth who was the
representative from MUW who worked on the grant for
over a year and
attended a workshop presented by HRSA officials to
assist in the
preparation of the grant. “This grant will help put
track for taking better care of their own by
educating a diversity of
Smyth also thinks many family nurse practitioners
may want to return to
school to get an additional certification to expand
their expertise. The
grant also provides for more options for those who
want to go back to
school to become an advanced practice nurse.
While attending the 2007 Mississippi Nurses
Association, Dr. Smyth
conducted a small research survey. The survey
consisted of registered
nurses and student nurses to gage the possible pool
students who would be interested in becoming either
a GNP or MHNP. This
data was included in the rationale for the grant.
Students who attend MUW for these two programs will
be taking some
courses on campus, and they will receive clinical
online or by synchronous and asynchronous
As with the Family Nurse Practitioner Program
currently in existence,
the actual clinical practice will be near the
students’ homes. The
degree will be awarded at MUW.
For more information about these nursing programs,
please contact Dr.
Smyth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-329-7323.