CMS Announces New Initiative to Bolster Primary Care Workforce

Demonstration will assist with training of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
The Lund Report

March 22, 2012 -- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a call for applications for a new Affordable Care Act initiative designed to strengthen primary care in the United States. Under the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration, CMS will provide hospitals working with nursing schools to train advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) with payments of up to $200 million over four years to cover the costs of APRNs’ clinical training.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we’re taking steps to put more advanced practice registered nurses at the forefront of our health care system,” said Marilyn Tavenner, Acting Administrator of CMS, and a nurse. “Better training and support for advanced practice registered nurses will mean higher quality care.”

APRNs—whether they are nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, or nurse midwives—play a pivotal role in primary care. This new initiative will provide funds to eligible hospitals to increase the availability of clinical training settings that will bolster the skills and supply of APRNs.   Payments to the participating hospitals will be linked directly to the number of additional APRNs that the hospitals and their partnering entities are able to train as a result of their participation in the demonstration.

The demonstration requires that half of clinical training occur in non-hospital settings in the community. Most clinical training in large hospitals already includes some rotations in settings that treat minority and underserved populations; however, this demonstration sets a higher requirement for training in non-hospital community-based settings. ing in clinics that treat minority and undesrserved populations howeverng a Students receiving training funded by the demonstration will be encouraged to practice in non-hospital community-based settings, including in underserved areas.

CMS will select up to five eligible hospitals to participate in the demonstration. The demonstration is expected to run for four years.

The demonstration was authorized by the Affordable Care Act, and will be operated by the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. It is part of the Administration’s overall effort to strengthen the health care workforce.

For more information including how to apply, visit the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration website at:

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