Grant provides care for patients, learning opportunity for students

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PAGE COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — A $2.7 million dollar grant aims to provide better primary health care to rural areas in Page County and teach nursing students at James Madison University.

The grant was funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration, with the goal of increasing the workforce of nurses with bachelor's degrees working in primary care settings.

The grant was awarded back in July to the JMU School of Nursing, who partnered with Page Memorial Hospital, to hire two nurses through the grant funding.

The nurses already have rural primary care experiences and will work as preceptors for the JMU nursing students.

Tina Switzer, the partnership liaison, said due to the rural area's lack of primary care, this is a win-win situation for everybody.

"In this particular case these preceptors (nurses) are actually doing the work in the clinics, they are seeing these patients, and they have their own schedules," Switzer said. "So when the students come in, they actually get to see real work happen and help with patients."

The program is funded for the next four years and will have 56 JMU nursing students complete the program.