Joseph E. Pellegrini, PhD, CRNA, FAAN, associate professor and director of the Nurse Anesthesia specialty at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), has been awarded additional funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to continue the school’s nurse anesthetist traineeship program. HRSA has increased the amount of the grant award to $78,111.
The trainee program aims to produce a more culturally competent and sensitive Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist workforce through proper education. Recipients of the grant are full-time nurse anesthesia students who have pledged to serve the medically underserved upon graduation, and the grant covers the cost of their tuition, books, and fees. Approximately 30 percent of all nurse anesthesia programs nationwide receive funding through this grant.
“This grant, which we’ve received for the past 11 years, is important because it helps offset the significant financial burden undertaken by full-time students who are completing a three-year doctoral plan of study,” Pellegrini said. “The grant is important not only to our students, but also to the school because it recognizes the Nurse Anesthesia program as one that promotes diversity and trains nurse anesthetists to work in areas that support the mission of HRSA. This includes meeting the needs of geographically isolated and economically or medically underserved populations.”
HRSA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the primary federal agency for improving access to health care by strengthening the workforce, building healthy communities, and achieving health equity. Its programs provide health care to people who are geographically isolated or economically or medically vulnerable.