The Central California Center for Excellence in Nursing (CCCEN) received a $700,000 grant from the Advanced Education Nursing Traineeship program that will fund scholarships for nurse practitioner students.

Conducted by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), this grant seeks to increase the number of advanced education nurses trained to practice as primary care providers.

Pilar De La Cruz-Reyes, director of the CCCEN, said a grant of this size will help advanced practice nursing students pay for tuition, books and other necessary expenses. “These scholarships will assist them to complete the program on time and to begin work in the community as advanced practitioners, which is a definite need in the Valley,” De La Cruz-Reyes said.

This two-year grant, which is one of the largest grants the nursing program at Fresno State has received, will provide scholarships for as many as 92 nursing students during the 2014-2016 academic years. Selected students will be awarded up to $7,400 each.

The largest grant the program received was in 2012, when HRSA awarded CCCEN with up to $2.5 million for the Scholarship for Disadvantaged Students. This grant, currently in its second year, is to be allocated over a four-year period through 2016.

Fresno State’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program was formed in 1968 to address the Central Valley’s shortage of primary care providers. The program prepares and trains qualified professionals and works in collaboration with health care providers to ensure that patients receive culturally competent care throughout their lifespan.

For more information, contact Pilar De La Cruz at 559.228.2130.