Nurse Education, Practice Quality and Retention Grants


To strengthen and enhance the capacity for nurse education, practice, quality, and retention to address the nursing shortage. There are three major priority areas (Education, Practice and Retention) and ten purposes associated with the three priority areas. The education priority areas are: Purpose E1) expanding enrollment in baccalaureate nursing programs; and Purpose E2) providing education in new technology, including distance learning methodologies. The practice priority areas are: Purpose P1) establishing or expanding nursing practice arrangements in non-institutional settings to demonstrate methods to improve access to primary health care in medically underserved communities; Purpose P2) providing care for underserved populations and other high-risk groups such as the elderly, individuals with HIV/AIDS, substance abusers, the homeless, and victims of domestic violence; Purpose P3) providing quality coordinated care and other skills needed to practice in existing and emerging organized health care systems; and Purpose P4) developing cultural competencies among nurses.
The retention priority areas are: Purpose R1) career ladder bridge programs which promote career advancement for nursing personnel and registered nurses to become baccalaureate prepared or advanced education nurses; Purpose R2) developing and implementing internship and residency programs in collaboration with an accredited school of nursing to encourage mentoring and the development of specialties; Purpose R3) career ladder programs to assist with entering into and advancing within the nursing profession; and Purpose R4) enhancing patient care delivery systems that is directly related to nursing activities by enhancing collaboration and communication among nurses and other health care professionals, and by promoting nurse involvement in the organizational and clinical decision-making processes of a health care facility.

The NEPQR Program solicited projects that created and/or expanded Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP) environments where nurses and other professional disciplines join together to provide comprehensive healthcare services for patients and their families. The goal of this solicitation is to strengthen nursing’s capacity to advance the health of patients, families and communities by supporting the development and implementation of innovative practice models that use collaborative interprofessional teams comprised of nurses and other health professionals.

Faculty Development: Integrated Technologies into Nursing Education and Practice Initiative (FD: ITNEP):
Program funds nursing collaboratives to support faculty development in the use of information and other technologies to expand the capacity of collegiate schools of nursing to educate students for 21st century health care practice. The program assists nursing collaboratives to utilize healthcare information systems to enhance nursing education and practice, optimize patient safety, and drive improvements in health care quality.

The Veterans Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing programs (VBSN):
Veterans Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) Program aim is to strengthen the quality of care and expand the nursing workforce through increased enrollment of veterans in baccalaureate nursing programs. The VBSN program is consistent with the NEPQR E1 priority and supports the development and implementation of innovative practice models that enable veterans to earn baccalaureate nursing degrees. The program expands employment opportunities for veterans and prepares them to make the transition from their former military role to that of a civilian nurse.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Office: Health Resources and Services Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Cooperative Agreements; Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Title VIII, Section 831 and 831A of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 296p and 42 U.S.C. 296p-1), as amended by section 5309 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
NEPQR, NEPQR-IPCP, FD-ITNEP, and VBSN: Eligible applicants are: accredited schools of nursing, health care facilities, a partnership of such a school and a health care facility, nursing centers, academic health centers, State or local governments, and other public or private non-profit entities determined appropriate by the Secretary. The term ‘health care facility’ means an Indian Health Service health center, a Native Hawaiian health center, a hospital, a Federally qualified health center, a rural health center, a nursing home, a home health agency, a hospice program, a public health clinic, a State or local department of public health, a skilled nursing facility, an ambulatory surgical center, or any other facility designated by the Secretary. The eligible applicant must be capable of carrying out the legislative purpose of the NEPQR program.

Schools of nursing providing undergraduate education and formal degree programs must be accredited by a national nurse education accrediting agency or State approval agency recognized by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. Newly established programs should consult with the U.S. Department of Education and provide appropriate documentation.

Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Government and Native American Organizations may apply if they are otherwise eligible.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Project participants, or students in the program, must be U.S. Citizens, non-citizen nationals, or foreign nationals who possess visas permitting permanent residence in the United States. Individuals on temporary student visas are not eligible.

VBSN Project Participants must be honorably or generally discharged service members or reservists, with prior medical training, who have not yet earned Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degrees.
Applicants should review the individual HRSA funding opportunity announcement issued under this CFDA program for any required proof or certifications/accreditation documentation which must be submitted with an application package. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. HRSA requires all applicants to apply electronically through

All eligible, qualified applications will be forwarded to an objective review committee. Based on the advice of the objective review committee, the HRSA program official with delegated authority is responsible for final selection and funding decisions. Notification is made in writing by a Notice of Award.

Award Procedure
Notification of award is made in writing (electronic) by a Notice of Award.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 120 to 180 days.
Not Applicable.
Depending on Agency priorities and availability of funding, during the final budget year of the approved project period competing continuation applications may be solicited from interested applicants.

The Faculty Development ITNEP program will not be accepting new applications.
How are proposals selected?
Procedures for assessing the technical merit of grant applications have been instituted to provide an objective review of applications and to assist the applicant in understanding the standards against which each application will be judged. Critical indicators have been developed for each review criterion to assist the applicant in presenting pertinent information related to that criterion and to provide the reviewer with a standard for evaluation. Competing applications are reviewed by non-Federal expert consultant(s) for technical merit recommendations. Applications will be reviewed and evaluated against the following criteria: (1) Purpose and Need; (2) Response to Program Purpose; (3) Impact; (4) Organizational Information, Resources and Capabilities; and (5) Support Requested. See the most recent Funding Opportunity Announcement for detailed selection criteria.
How may assistance be used?
Funds may be used for salaries of personnel specifically employed for the project; consultant fees; supplies and equipment necessary to conduct the project; essential travel expenses and student stipends or scholarships; and other expenses related to the project.

Restricted Uses: Indirect costs under training awards to organizations other than State, local or American Indian tribal governments will be budgeted and reimbursed at 8 percent of modified total direct costs rather than on the basis of a negotiated rate agreement, and are not subject to upward or downward adjustment.

Student support through stipends, tuition, and fees is not eligible for support.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
The recipient will be required to submit semi-annual performance and annual progress reports. Cash reports are not applicable. A Federal Financial Report (SF-425) is required according to the schedule in HRSA’s Application Guide. A final report is due within 90 days after the project period ends. If applicable, the recipient must submit a Tangible Personal Property Report (SF-428) and any related forms within 90 days after the project period ends. New awards (“Type 1”) issued under this funding opportunity announcement are subject to the reporting requirements of the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) of 2006 (Pub. L. 109–282), as amended by section 6202 of Public Law 110–252, and implemented by 2 CFR Part 170. Grant and cooperative agreement recipients must report information for each first-tier subaward of $25,000 or more in federal funds and executive total compensation for the recipient’s and subrecipient’s five most highly compensated executives as outlined in Appendix A to 2 CFR Part 170 (The FFATA details are available online at Competing continuation recipients, etc. may be subject to this requirement and will be so notified in the Notice of Award. No expenditure reports are required. Performance monitoring is not applicable.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.
Recipients are required to maintain grant accounting records three years after the date they submit the Federal Financial Report (FFR). If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit or other action involving the award has been started before the expiration of the three year period, the records shall be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it, or until the end of the regular three year period, whichever is later.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
This program has MOE requirements, see funding agency for further details. The recipient must agree to maintain non-federal funding for grant activities at a level which is not less than expenditures for such activities during the fiscal year prior to receiving the award.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

This funding opportunity provides support for a 3-year project period, except for legislative purpose: (P1) establishing or expanding nurse practice arrangements which is for up to five years of support.

Veteran’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing:
This funding opportunity provides support for a 4-year project period.

See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Grantees drawdown funds, as necessary, from the Payment Management System (PMS). PMS is the centralized web based payment system for HHS awards. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Recipients drawdown funds, as necessary, from the Payment Management System (PMS). PMS is the centralized web based payment system for HHS awards.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. NEPQR: Kasey Farrell, Kirk Koyama, and Marian Smithey, Division of Nursing and Public Health, Bureau of Health Workforce, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9-89, Rockville, MD 20857. Telephone: (301) 443-5688.
Headquarters Office
VBSN: Marian Smithey, Nurse Consultant, Division of Nursing and Public Health, Bureau of Health Workforce 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 9-89, Rockville, Maryland 20857 Phone: 301-443-3831 Fax: 301-443-0791
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Cooperative Agreements) FY 14 $30,364,681; FY 15 est $20,941,867; and FY 16 est $20,941,867 - NEPQR-IPCP. (Project Grants) FY 14 $24,408,569; FY 15 est $25,765,118; and FY 16 est $25,765,118 - NEPQR-VBSN. (Project Grants) FY 14 $5,956,112; FY 15 est $9,694,223; and FY 16 est $9,694,223. (Project Grants) FY 14 $3,775,449; FY 15 est $1,131,402; and FY 16 est $1,131,402 - NEPQR. (Project Grants) FY 14 $509,869; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0 - FD: ITNEP.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
NEPQR: FY13: AVG $287,639; Range $207,572 - $771,600 ; FY14: AVG $397,208; Range $270,005 - $789,244; FY15: AVG:$316,496 Range $133,581 - $575,381

NEPQR-IPCP: FY13: AVG $453,958; Range $270,000 – 500,000; FY14: AVG $461,138; Range $270,000 -$500,000; FY15: Estimated AVG: $461,138

ITNEP: FY13: AVG $259,805; FY14: AVG $254,935; FY 15 n/a

VBSN: FY 13: AVG $309, 288; Range: $279,114 - $350,000 FY14: AVG $307,582; Range: $252,365 - $350,000; FY15: Estimated AVG $350,000.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
All administrative and audit requirements and the cost principles that govern Federal monies associated with this activity will be subject to the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200 as codified by HHS at 45 CFR 75.

HRSA awards are also subject to the requirements of the HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) that are applicable based on recipient type and purpose of award. The HHS GPS is available at
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.


Federal Grants Resources