Community Academic Partnership for Primary Care Nursing Transformation 

Emory University's Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (NHWSN) received a $2.7 million award from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to help increase the number of nurses working in community-based primary care settings, particularly among medically underserved populations.


To recruit and train prelicensure nursing students and currently practicing RNs to practice to the full scope of their licenses as part of interprofessional teams in community-based primary care clinics (CBPC). 


  • Increase the number of NHWSN Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduates prepared to enter and remain within CBPC and practice to full scope of license.
  • Create and deploy modular professional development programs for RNs working/wanting to work in CBPC settings to practice to the full scope of their licenses and practice effectively in interprofessional teams.
  • Create and deploy a hybrid professional development program for clinical instructors and RN preceptors to optimize their skills as educators.
  • Implement comprehensive evaluation.

A unique characteristic of the four-year project is the school’s partnership with Mercy Care, a federally qualified health center and Atlanta’s only health center for the homeless that also helps individuals who lack access to behavioral health care services.

Patients’ Needs

  • Fragmented healthcare
  • Too much emphasis/resources devoted on acute care
  • Income defines/determines health care received
  • Need to have community-based primary healthcare to meet needs for:
    • Behavioral health integrated with medical care
    • Health promotion/wellness emphasis
    • Care coordination for patients with multiple problems/co-morbidities
    • Coaching for self-management
    • Attention to social determinants of health
    • Increase access to care




Undergraduate nursing students selected to participate in the program will receive scholarship support and will complete at least 150 clinical hours in community-based primary care at Mercy Care, precepted by Mercy Care nurses. The grant will also fund creation and deployment of professional development programs for registered nurses working in community-based primary care environments as well as those who are transitioning from acute care settings to primary care.

  • 10 BSN students recruited yearly
  • 40 total students trained
  • $4,000 scholarship yearly
  • Complete 150 clinical hours of 870 in program in CBPC
  • Students will participate in Georgia Farmworker's Health Program in Moutrie, GA OR
  • Primary care intensive clinical in Summer Immersion
  • Evaluation data on multiple metrics related to intent to work in CBPC

You must be an accepted student to apply for the CAPACITY grant. Please contact April Biagioni  


Interface of CAPACITY with ABSN curriculum through specific ABSN courses for total 155 clinical hours in Community-based primary care 

  • Fall: NRSG 309 Social Responsibility & Ethics (25 hours at Mercy Care)
  • Spring: NRSG 315 Population Health (50 hours at Mercy Care)
  • Summer Immersion: (up to 80 hours at Mercy Care or at Migrant Farm Worker Family Health Project in Moultrie, GA)
  • Fall: NRSG 432 Ambulatory Care (50 hours at Mercy Care)

If you're a Georgia Nurse practicing in community-based primary care, we can help you enhance your skills in working to the full scope of license.

Example Activities for RNs Working Within Full Scope of Practice:

  • Triage functions
  • Phone triage
  • EMR In-box management
  • Phone advice
  • Resource RN functions
  • Walk-in triage
  • Chronic disease patient education
  • Having an RN scheduled and led visit around managing a chronic illness or follow-up after hospitalization
  • Performing clinical procedures (catheterization, nebulizer treatment, antibiotic injection, wound care)
  • Pediatric advice
  • Depression screening and referral
  • Inhaler teaching
  • Patient counseling
  • Self-management support for diet and exercise, depression and sleep
  • Medical adherence counseling

NOTE: If you're a nurse working in other settings we can provide training to prepare you to work in community-based primary care, we will provide professional development modules. You earn CEUs obtained through Emory Nursing Professional Development Center. The School of Nursing will partner with training specialists and instructional designers from the Emory Center for Training and Technical Assistance within the Rollins School of Public Health to create high-quality professional development programs and to evaluate the project.

Quyen Phan, CAPACITY Project Partnership Liaison