Avera has received more than $2.5 million in funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support nursing and address health care workforce capacity through innovative solutions including telehealth and virtual nursing.
The first grant, Project NEXT, a $1.5 million grant from HRSA, will support a three-year Rural Public Health Workforce Training Network Program. Project NEXT will prepare the rural public health workforce by providing cross-trained skills in telehealth, health information technology and skill opportunities such as telemetry monitoring and virtual nursing. Cross-training will allow others to perform some tasks of nursing, such as documentation, allowing nurses to spend more time at the patient bedside. And telemedicine, telemetry monitoring and virtual nursing extend expertise across the miles through interactive virtual technology. The second HRSA grant is part of the Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) Registered Nurse Training Program (RNTP) and provides $1 million in funding over three years.
The Avera Health system has 20,000 employees and physicians, serving more than 300 locations and 100 communities in a five-state region.