Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Primary Care Community Health Nurse Scholar

The PCCHNS program is an exciting option for undergraduate nursing students! It is a four year program designed to educate and prepare undergraduate nursing students for a career promoting access to healthcare for the underserved in a primary care setting.

This program is in addition to the standard, undergraduate nursing program and charges no additional tuition fees for participants!*

Definition of Primary Care:

  • It is the care that people need to stay healthy or to manage chronic conditions. It is offered outside of hospitals in community clinics, ambulatory care centers, physicians’ offices, mobile vans, and in patient’s homes.
  • Primary care nurses work as part of an inter-professional team to develop sustained partnership with patients and families. They provide both direct nursing care and coordinate care for patients across multiple settings.
  • Many primary care nurses go on to graduate school to become nurse practitioners, which is another type of primary care provider.

How will the PCCHNS program prepare students for Primary Care beyond the standard BSN program?

PCCHNS will join with other nursing students throughout their four years to focus on the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to provide care coordination and primary health care services in both hospital and community settings to the underserved. Graduates will have specialized knowledge in primary health care, caring for the underserved, in addition to the standard BSN curriculum. (FAQ's)

  • There will be on-line modules to complete (program plan information)
  • Students in the PCCHNS program will have primary care experiences in community health centers, clinics, and sites serving underserved populations, as well as hospitals. The goal is to promote wellness and to care for the sick in a variety of settings that care for underserved.
  • Students selected for the PCCHNS program will have opportunities to apply for a summer fellowship, will be eligible for special field trips, and primary care educational experiences.
  • Students who work with veterans in ambulatory settings will get a head start in the Veterans Administration (VA) health system.
  • PCCHNS students will join a cohort of students and faculty who will meet regularly and support each other throughout the BSN program.
  • Best of all, there is no additional cost to students who qualify for this program!

Program Funding:

The PCCHNS Program is supported through a grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Health Workforce, Division of Nursing and Public Health (Nurse Education, Practice Quality and Retention NEPQR – Registered Nurses in Primary Care (RNPC) Training Program HRSA-18-012)

*There are student expenses for an optional Alternative Spring Break Immersion program at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.