The Primary care Improved Outcomes with Nurses in Evolving and Expanding Roles (PIONEER) project educates undergraduate nursing students to begin practice in primary care settings, and also educates and supports currently practicing nurses towards full, patient-centered practice in primary care settings that serve vulnerable and underserved populations. This is accomplished through partnerships among the VCU School of Nursing and five community-based primary care settings, all based in a geographic HPSA. Competitively-selected senior nursing students participate in a summer program with both didactic and clinical content in primary care nursing and then complete their senior capstone clinical course with one of the clinical partners. RNs in the clinical partners are educated as preceptors for these students and are additionally trained in all aspects of the enhanced nursing role. PIONEER also assists our clinical partners to identify, implement, and evaluate team-based practice changes through the quality improvement process.
The Richmond Health and Wellness Program, led by Pam Parsons, director of practice and community engagement, is a community-based care coordination initiative that has become an interprofessional training ground for future nurses and a national model for community engagement. RHWP brings together students from the VCU Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Medicine, Social Work, Occupational Therapy and the Department of Psychology, to provide integrated care to residents in apartment buildings that are designated for older adults and those with disabilities. The program serves low-income older adults who have limited access to care or who are in need of coordinated care services. The goal is to improve the health and well-being of residents in their homes.