LSU Health New Orleans Newsroom

$3M Award to LSU Health New Orleans Will Address Nursing Shortage and Improve Health Equity in Rural and Medically Underserved Areas

October 7, 2022

Region 6

LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing has been awarded nearly $3 million to create a program to improve health equity and care in rural and medically underserved communities in Region 6 (Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.) It is one of only ten such awards granted by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Under the leadership of Leanne Fowler, DNP, AGACNP-BC, CCRN, CNE, Program Director of the Nurse Practitioner Programs, Program Coordinator of the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Concentration, and Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing, LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing will build a Clinical Nurse Educator (CNE) Academy for Region 6.

Designed to increase the registered nurse (RN) and advanced practice RN (APRN) nursing workforce in medically underserved areas, the project will expand and centralize academic practice partnerships. The CNE Academy will focus on the recruitment, education, and retention of licensed nurses in the region to become RN and APRN clinical nurse faculty and preceptors who will teach newly hired or transitioning licensed nurses in a variety of care settings. Academy faculty will complete approximately 40 hours of professional development and earn Nurse Educator certification to develop the curriculum in collaboration with nursing education experts.

“Aligned with national standards, the CNE Academy educational program is planned to be competency-based with a focus on developing inclusive teaching and learning strategies, health equity, and resilience skills,” Dr. Fowler notes. “Increasing the number of clinical nurse educators will increase the number of critically needed RNs and APRNs taking care of patients in these areas.”

LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing is ranked the #10 nursing school and the #5 public nursing school in the United States.

“Our School of Nursing is known for educating nurse leaders and excellence in nursing education, practice, research, and public service,” says Demetrius J. Porche, DNS, PhD, ANEF, FACHE, FAANP, FAAN, Professor and Dean of LSU Health New Orleans School of Nursing. “Our CNE Academy for Region 6 will help us meet two vital needs – increasing the number of RNs and advanced practice nurses and improving access to quality care in rural and medically underserved communities.”

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans (LSU Health New Orleans) educates Louisiana's health care professionals. The state's health sciences university leader, LSU Health New Orleans includes a School of Medicine with campuses in Baton Rouge and Lafayette, the state's only School of Dentistry, Louisiana's only public School of Public Health, and Schools of Allied Health Professions, Nursing, and Graduate Studies. LSU Health New Orleans faculty take care of patients in public and private hospitals and clinics throughout the region. In the vanguard of biosciences research, the LSU Health New Orleans research enterprise generates jobs and enormous annual economic impact. LSU Health New Orleans faculty have made lifesaving discoveries and continue to work to prevent, advance treatment or cure disease. To learn more, visit,, or

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