College of Nursing awarded $3.8 million

U.S. Senator Jack Reed and the University of Rhode Island announced on Oct. 4 that three grants totaling $3.8 million have been awarded to the College of Nursing.

The largest grant will bring $2.4 million from the National Institutes of Health to nursing professors Judith Mercer, and Debra Erickson-Owens, Ph.D. ’09, to expand their groundbreaking research on the benefits of delaying umbilical cord clamping. The five-year grant will allow them to extend their study beyond premature babies, to determine if delayed clamping improves brain health in full-term infants as well.

A three-year, $748,121 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will support URI’s new doctorate of nursing practice (D.N.P.) and acute care nurse practitioner specialization programs, both educating nurses who wish to provide advanced care to underserved elderly and minority patients. URI’s D.N.P. program is the only one offered in Rhode Island. The grant will allow the University to enroll 10 students per year, up from three, in the 42-credit program.

A $686,000, two-year grant from the same agency will provide financial support to qualified, bachelor’s-prepared minority and veteran nurses who seek advanced education as primary care nurse practitioners. “More family nurse practitioners and adult-gerontological nurse practitioners will be on the front lines and able to use their knowledge and skills to improve health care quality and patient safety,” said Mary Sullivan, interim dean of the College of Nursing.