$1.2 Million Awarded to Egan School for Palliative Care Education
Fairfield University’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies received a two-year $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, and Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW) Program. Joyce Shea, DNSc, APRN, PMHCNS-BC, associate dean for Graduate Studies and Jackie Conelius, PhD, FNP-BC, track coordinator for the FNP Program will serve as co-principal investigators for the project, called Implementing Palliative Care Across the Community (IPAC). Palliative care services are dedicated to improving the lives of patients with severe chronic and life threatening illnesses as well as their families.
This grant will sponsor traineeships for students in the Nurse Practitioner programs and help to strengthen the academic-practice partnership between the Egan School and Southwest Community Health Center (SWCHC) in Bridgeport, CT.
“We are thrilled to have received this grant, which will allow us to provide both cutting-edge palliative care education to our NP students as well as focused clinical opportunities where students can take their skills to the next level,” said Dr. Shea. “The initiative truly captures the mission and vision of the University and the Egan School with its emphasis on meeting the needs of vulnerable individuals, and will fit beautifully with the work of our new Kanarek Center for Palliative Care Nursing Education.”
The Egan School will be outfitted with the tools necessary to provide clinical and didactic palliative care education to the next generation of Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNPs).
The goals of IPAC include a curriculum that addresses key details of evidence-based palliative care along with clinical experiences that allow students to apply their education in practice settings. The clinical component includes a minimum of 100 hours of practice in palliative care associated with specific patient populations such as patients with congestive heart failure, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pain syndromes, sickle cell disease, and dementia, among others. The remainder of each student's 500 required clinical hours will be completed in general primary care/primary mental health care to allow for a comprehensive education.
Through primary and behavioral care clinicals, the IPAC program ensures that students will have the training and skills necessary to provide effective palliative care to underserved populations. The grant seeks to increase the accessibility of palliative care in the state of Connecticut and nationwide.