Herzing University has been awarded a $1.92 million federal grant to help improve the health of underserved and vulnerable populations through its Master of Science in Nursing - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program.
The grant was announced through the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals. It will fund a new Herzing program called Every Experience Counts, which is designed to educate underrepresented minorities to serve as mental health nurse practitioners in mental health and primary care settings in high-need, high-demand areas.
In the six states where Herzing has campuses – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin – there is a disproportionate number of residents living in medically underserved areas -- especially in mental health care.
“Mental health care is a persistent need in underserved communities and Herzing University is proud to educate professionals who can lead diagnosis and treatment efforts,” said Herzing University President Renee Herzing. “The Every Experience Counts program and this grant align with our mission of access to education and healthcare, empowerment of individuals, and strengthening of our communities.”
The grant will allow Herzing University to educate and train 120 students in the PMHNP program through 2025. The online PMHNP program prepares students to apply for board certification as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
“Our efforts through Every Experience Counts will focus on our campuses across six states, our clinical partners across the U.S. and many of our students which are in high need and high demand areas,” said Dr. Tricia Wagner, nursing department chair at Herzing University. “We expect our cohorts to continue to have strong representation from African American and Hispanic graduate-level nursing students.”
About half of all students at Herzing University are African American and Hispanic, and representation is above 40 percent for nursing programs. The school plans to work with community partners to provide hands-on clinical training opportunities for students, which could lead to full-time employment.