A new push from the federal government to teach nurses about caring for patients with HIV/AIDS is taking root in New Jersey.
Rutgers University is one of five centers around the country that will receive funds to train nurses in AIDS patient care.
Suzanne Willard associate dean, advance practice at the Rutgers College of Nursing in Newark, N.J., will lead the project. She says the school will be able to help train aspiring nurses to work throughout the region.
“In every HIV clinic in the city of Philadelphia there is a nurse practitioner, and many of them have been working for a very long time,” Willard said. She stressed that nurses must be trained to help a new generation of patients affected by HIV/AIDS. “This HIV disease has not gone away,” she remarked.
Willard believes centers such as Rutgers will be important for continuing to address the AIDS epidemic.
“There are going to continue to be infections. There are continuing to be transmission from mother to child – even though it is not as frequent here in the USA it still occurs. And we need to make sure we have a workforce that is well qualified to be able to take care of them,” she said.
According to Willard, a well-trained workforce of nurses will be key in improving care for AIDS patients.