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Jax Daily Record Friday, Sep. 25, 202005:10 AM EST

Jacksonville University, Availity establish nurse practitioner scholarship

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It will help them complete the requirements to open independent primary care offices.
by: Katie Garwood Staff Writer

Jacksonville University will partner with Jacksonville-based Availity to provide educational opportunities for nurse practitioners who want to offer independent primary care. 

Availity, a health care IT company, will make a $100,000 donation to establish the Availity Nurse Practitioner Scholars Fund at JU. 

The fund will help nurse practitioners earn the credits needed for obtaining an independent practice license.

“At Jacksonville University, we’re working every day to transform the health of our communities by educating and training exceptional healthcare professionals,” JU President Tim Cost said in a news release. “With Availity’s generous support, we can help up to 1,000 nurse practitioners advance their education and establish their own primary care practice.”

This year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 607, which allows nurse practitioners to offer primary care without an attending physician if they meet certain requirements. 

They must complete 3,000 hours of practice with an attending physician and have either three hours of graduate-level coursework or 45 continuing education units in advanced pharmacology and differential diagnoses. 

Scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Continuing education units will be offered online. 

“Nurse practitioners play an invaluable role in delivering patient-centered care in our healthcare system, so it is highly gratifying to see such a program that recognizes our contribution,” Vernon Langford, president of the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners, said in a news release. 

“We celebrate the many newly independent nurse practitioners that will emerge from this program who will go on to deliver high-quality care and improve outcomes for the millions of patients who need them.”

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