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Susan Renz on Tuition Free NP Program at Penn Nursing.

$125 Million Grant Allows Penn to Offer Free NP Program (Video)

By: Dave Gilmartin

When Leonard A. Lauder goes to the doctor, he is frequently first seen by a nurse practitioner.

“I am often first assessed by a nurse practitioner, who works alongside the doctor as part of an expert team. I hear it when they weigh in, and the doctor listens to them too,” said the chairman emeritus of The Estee Lauder Companies. “I speak with them, listening to what they love about their job. I’ve learned about the obstacles they face—taking on student debt, working to support a family at the same time.”

The impression those NPs have made upon Lauder inspired him to give a $125 million gift to the University of Pennsylvania, his alma mater, to create a tuition-free NP program with the goal of creating primary care clinicians to work in underserved areas.

The grant, the largest ever to an American nursing program, will allow Penn to graduate 40 NPs a year to serve at least two years in communities where they are most needed.

The program will start this fall with 10 students and expand over the next four years. Here Susan Renz, PhD, DNP, GNP-BC, Primary Care Program Director at Penn Nursing, discuss the program and who is eligible here.


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