ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -
Rural communities often struggle with receiving medical care, emergency or otherwise, because of their distance from physicians and hospitals. In response to that, The University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford is developing a curriculum for Rural Nursing to add to the National Center for Rural Health Professions.
The program will integrate Rural Nursing students with those already in the Rural Pharmacy and Rural Medical program by allowing them to participate in farm emergency simulations and other hands-on experiences specifically designed to train students for employment in rural communities. It will take 4 years to complete.
Rural medical degree programs at UIC require students to participate in 16-week preceptorships in rural areas. The other Rural degree programs at Rockford UIC have a history of 99% of graduates receiving employment in rural areas.
"I've worked with the people in the Rural Farm and Rural Medical program, and it's about time that our nursing is developed to join that team of healthcare professionals," says Kelly Rosenberger, who is working with the others in the Rural Medical and Rural Pharmacy programs to develop this curriculum. She says she has noticed the need for medical programs in rural areas for some time now.
Rockford's campus admits 10-15 advanced practice nursing students to the university every year. They are hoping to have 5 of those 15 on the rural track once the program begins.
They will be admitting students into the advanced rural nurse practitioner programs for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, primary care nurse practitioner, family practice nurse practitioner, and certified nurse midwife programs starting in fall 2017.