Prof. Mary Ann Lewis wants a difference in the Nursing field with only students who distinctly understand what being labeled a Nursing Practitioner means particularly in the UCLA Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program.

The role of nursing has always been to take care of the poor, and from public health nursing since the early 1900s, the entire immigrant communities, they have taken care of the poor. This the nursing’s forte.

Caring for the Underserved program was unveiled more than 20 years ago through the California Song-Brown grants, and it connects the UCLA School of Nursing with the community health clinics surrounding the Los Angeles area.

The initiative ‘Caring for the Underserved’ was constituted in 1993 and has students who have been serving more than 444000 people from then. Forty first-year students see about 130 patients on average every year, and Forty second-year students see approximately 980 patients on average annually. It happens in the communities in the Southern California, I.e. from Watts to Arroyo Vista.

The UCLA School of Nursing advanced practice program roots expanse back to 1971, where Prof. Lewis implemented a unique nursing pilot program. While a family nurse practitioner is in charge of handling patients in a particular family for their entire lifespan, they also have the skills take care of any emergencies or people who might come to the hospital. A Family Nurse Practitioner may work for as long as 10 hours a day or less based on the requirement.

Speaking of the FPN Lewis said:

“They are family-oriented, and they take care of the patient in the context of the family.”

In 1989, Lewis was looking forward to strengthening the family nurse practitioner program. As a result, the Song-Brown legislation that allocated the funds for family medicine training programs became the vessel.

Professor Lewis noted:

“We have partnerships throughout Southern California. They want our students. The outcomes for Song-Brown are that more than half of the FNP students practice in underserved areas after graduation, which is pretty phenomenal.” 

After a few training for the nurses happened in one clinic, they started to become more invested leading to higher retention rates after the graduations. Hospitals were mainly picked for highest poverty rates and the most underserved.

Carol Vasquez, a Family Nurse Practitioner, and 2015 program graduate said:

“Being able to come here as a student, I was able to realize how much we all have and take for granted how precious health care is and how there is a completely different side of the world. Working as an FNP for two years and now looking back on my time as a student, I feel very fortunate to have been a graduate of the UCLA School of Nursing and a participant of Song-Brown. It gave me an exceptional training that I can use on a daily basis with my patients.”

In approval of this long-run success, Caring for the Underserved program have received the 2017 UCLA Landmark Community Program of the Year award. Prof. Lewis said that it was even exciting that the prize put the UCLA School of Nursing at the forefront, and that the community knows about the program.

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