Published on July 19, 2023 by Stephanie Wynn and Eric Holsomback  

Samford University’s Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing has received more than $2 million to improve the preparation of primary care nurse practitioner students committed to careers in medically underserved and rural areas.

Samford’s $2,600,000 Advanced Nursing Education Workforce program grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will use evidence-based guidelines to develop experiential learning activities focused on primary care. The students will receive practical experience in high need and demand healthcare settings.

The program will improve clinical competence, cultural humility, and self-care, which will aid students entering the workforce better prepared as providers in primary care settings. Students who complete the program will be equipped with the clinical and professional confidence and competencies necessary for efficient, effective, and productive practice to advance and improve the health of patients, families, and communities.

According to Melondie Carter, dean of the Moffett & Sanders School of Nursing, additional nurse practitioners are needed to meet the healthcare needs of the community. “We are excited about our opportunity to support students with this funding. The ANEW project provides an opportunity for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to address and manage Social Determinants of Health factors and improve health equity and literacy in medically underserved areas and populations,” she added.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports the demand for primary care services has increased significantly due to a growing and aging population, resulting in a shortage between 37,000 to 124,000 primary care providers by 2034. Primary care nurse practitioners have the knowledge and skills to perform healthcare services to meet the needs of the community. Therefore, the probability that practices will increase the use of nurse practitioners is high.

“For nearly a decade, the school of nursing has recognized that a major primary care provider shortage is on the horizon,” said Stephanie Wynn, associate dean of scholarly activities for Moffett and Sanders School of Nursing and grant project director. “With the aid of the ANEW award, graduates of our program will be well-positioned to improve access to quality healthcare, especially for patients and families in rural and underserved communities where health inequities are common.”

The ANEW program will recruit registered nurses to earn a master’s or doctoral degree or a post-graduate certification with a concentration as a primary care nurse practitioner. The program will perpetuate the students’ transition to autonomous caregivers to fill a dire need in the healthcare system.  

To apply for admission to Samford graduate programs in nursing, go to

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.