The Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program is a U.S. initiative aimed at supporting advanced nursing education for registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives. Its goal is to promote academic-practice partnerships and prepare advanced practice nurses to work in rural and underserved settings.
Overview of the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program
- Purpose: The primary objective of the ANEW Program is to support advanced nursing education and train advanced practice nurses. By doing this, the program aims to increase the number of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners who are trained to provide primary care in rural and underserved communities.
- Funding: The program provides federal grants to educational institutions that offer post-graduate degrees in nursing. These funds are intended to support projects that promote academic-practice partnerships and bolster clinical training.
- Eligibility: Educational institutions that offer post-graduate nursing programs and have academic-practice partnerships with health care providers in rural or underserved areas are typically eligible for this program.
- Focus on Underserved Areas: A significant emphasis of the ANEW program is on preparing students to serve in rural and underserved communities. This is critical given the healthcare disparities that exist in these areas and the growing need for qualified healthcare providers.
- Partnerships: One of the hallmarks of the ANEW program is its focus on fostering partnerships between academic institutions and healthcare providers. This collaboration ensures that the curriculum is relevant, and students receive hands-on training that prepares them for the challenges they will face in the field.
- Outcomes: Graduates of institutions supported by the ANEW program are expected to be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to provide high-quality care in rural and underserved areas. This includes not only clinical skills but also an understanding of the unique challenges and needs of these communities.
Why is the ANEW Program Important?
The ANEW Program addresses several critical issues in the healthcare sector:
- Addressing Healthcare Disparities: Rural and underserved areas often lack access to quality healthcare. By training more nurses to serve in these areas, the program helps to reduce disparities in health outcomes.
- Meeting Growing Demand: As the U.S. population grows and ages, there is an increasing demand for healthcare services. Advanced practice nurses play a crucial role in meeting this demand, especially in areas where there are few doctors.
- Supporting Education: By providing funding to educational institutions, the ANEW program ensures that nursing students receive top-tier education and training, which in turn benefits patients and communities.
- The Advance Nursing Education Workforce program received the most money from the $100 million White House nursing workforce package.
- The ANEW program trains advanced practice registered nurse students in primary care services, especially in rural areas and underserved communities.
- The program’s goal is to increase diversity in the nursing workforce by recruiting students and faculty from diverse backgrounds.
The White House recently invested $100 million in nursing programs to prevent further shrinking of the nursing workforce. The investment went to five federal programs and focuses on all aspects of nursing, especially the training and advancement of nursing skills.
One program that benefitted was the Advance Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) program. Administered by the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), the ANEW program received $34.8 million — the most money of any program receiving funds through the Biden administration’s commitment.
The ANEW funds will be distributed in amounts up to $650,000 per grant for 56 grantees over four years. Each grantee uses their award to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners (NPs), clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives.
The ANEW program trains advanced practice registered nurses in primary care services, with funding preferences for training programs serving rural and underserved areas. Here’s more about the program and what funding it means for healthcare and nursing in the U.S.
The ANEW Program: A Deep Dive
The ANEW program provides tuition and other support to students and recruits new nursing school faculty members. The program also focuses on growing preceptors so students have the support they need to be successful in the program.
The ANEW program aims to increase the number of APRNs and their primary care capabilities. It also trains learners in how to care for patients with substance use disorders and other mental health conditions and maternal health services.
Primary care is particularly important. A national physician shortage in addition to the nursing shortage makes the demand for primary care providers, such as specially trained APRNs, even greater. Critical shortage areas include:
- An estimated physician shortage of 35,260 full-time equivalent primary care physicians by the year 2035, according to the HRSA.
- A shortage of 12,000 psychiatrists, according to the American Psychiatric Association.
- By 2030, there will be a shortage of 5,790 obstetricians-gynecologists, according to the HRSA.
Another key goal of the program is to increase diversity in the nursing workforce — and improve health outcomes in the process — by recruiting students and faculty from diverse backgrounds. This way, graduates from the program can meet the needs of the communities they serve. The partnerships will address health equity and social determinants of health for underserved communities, such as rural, urban and tribal communities.
Biden’s $35 Million Gift: How Will It Help?
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, more than 40% of the U.S. population now identify as people of color. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), an organization established to provide quality standards for nursing education, emphasizes the importance of recruiting students and faculty, specifically from underrepresented groups, to increase representation in healthcare. These groups include:
- American Indian
- Alaskan Native
There is also a push to encourage more men to join the nursing profession. Although there has been an increase in men in the profession, a National Nursing Workforce Study survey found that men accounted for only 11% of registered nurses in 2022, up from 9% in 2020.
Lastly, the need for more faculty nurses, especially those from a diverse pool, will help with the nursing shortage by widening the training pipeline. In 2021, the AACN annual survey reported only 19.2% of full-time nursing school faculty are from underrepresented backgrounds, and only 7.4% identify as male.
Some schools that received ANEW program grants announced their plans for the funding:
- Georgia Southern University School of Nursing plans to prepare nurse practitioner students in behavioral health services, specifically in rural and underserved areas.
- Samford’s Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing plans to use evidence-based guidelines to create an experiential learning environment for students focusing on primary care. The school will also recruit nurses to earn a master’s, doctoral degree, or post-graduate certification with a concentration in primary care.
- The University of North Alabama plans to fund Project IMPACT, a program intended to improve access to care by increasing the number of nurse practitioner students concentrated in underserved communities and rural health.
- Sacred Heart University Incorporated aims to increase the number of NPs and psychiatric NPs who will be trained to work in underserved communities. The school also plans to provide scholarships to students.
- Georgia College & State University plans to provide full tuition to nurse practitioner and midwifery students in exchange for agreeing to serve at least two years in an underserved area in Georgia.
The ANEW program grant has made a significant impact on communities, specifically rural and underserved communities. ANEW grants have allowed NPs to work in rural areas that otherwise may need more funds to hire an NP.
The grant has also aided students financially, allowing students to pursue their master’s degree. Lastly, the grant has intentionally recruited students and faculty from diverse backgrounds, simultaneously adding more nurses to the workforce and increasing representation.