How the HJAHC HRSA Grant Funded Nurse Residency Program Supports the Trenton/Mercer County Community

In 2019, Henry J. Austin Health Center (HJAHC) was the recipient of the HRSA Advanced Nursing Education – Nurse Practitioner Residency (ANE-NPR) Program Grant. The Nurse Practitioner residency is a 12-month program for advanced practice nurses who have completed a Master’s or Doctoral program and have passed the Nurse Practitioner Certification boards. The program supports the placement of 23 residents in partnership with Zufall Health and Complete Care Health Systems, both Federally Qualified Health Centers in New Jersey. 
 
Caring for under-resourced patients is very challenging for new providers. The HJAHC nurse practitioner residency provides additional experience that focuses on a team-based, trauma-informed approach to care for underserved communities who face health challenges due to social determinants of health such as lack of education, low literacy levels, unemployment or over employment (working two or three jobs to make ends meet) lack of transportation, inadequate housing or homelessness, high incarceration levels, “food deserts”, and language barriers. This prepares and equips our residents to understand the unique needs of our patients and how to provide them with the best care. 
 
Residents of this program work side by side with our providers in all departments (pediatrics, women’s health, behavioral health, adult medicine, etc.) which helps to build their confidence and skills to learn and work as part of an integrated health team. 
 
We are grateful to have placed 19 residents through this program in our health centers and partnering centers. This year, we have four nurse practitioners who will complete their residency in June 2023. 
 
Katie Beyer, a graduate of the program states,” I had a wonderful experience during my residency at HJAHC. It allowed me to further my knowledge and clinical skills in the real world while helping an underserved population. I was able to complete rotations in Family, Adult, Pediatrics, MAT, Nutrition, Pharmacy, and ID. All my preceptors were so knowledgeable and helpful and pushed me to become a better provider. After the program ended, I decided to stay with HJAHC because I knew I could continue to learn while making a positive difference in my patients’ lives! I love that HJAHC has its own pharmacy and Behavioral health department – these are great resources not just for the patient but very convenient for me as a provider as well. HJAHC is so important to the Trenton community because it provides so many important services to the people here, so I am proud to be part of such a fantastic place!” 

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