With support from a $1.5 million federal grant, UC Irvine’s Program in Nursing Science will establish Orange County’s first nurse-managed clinic in downtown Santa Ana.

As part of the SOS-El Sol Wellness Center at the El Sol Science & Arts Academy, the innovative collaboration will allow for expansion of the center’s current services while enabling UCI’s nurse-practitioner faculty to provide healthcare to the charter school’s students and parents and to people living in the neighborhood. It also will drive innovation in undergraduate and graduate student education and foster interdisciplinary nursing research.

“With nurse-practitioners playing a greater role in primary care today, practices like this one are vitally important for delivering much-needed healthcare to underserved communities and for educating tomorrow’s nursing workforce,” said Susanne Phillips, the UCI associate professor of nursing science who will direct the clinic. “This innovative collaboration will allow for expansion of the services already available at the wellness center.”

Nurse-practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education and clinical training in primary care. They’re licensed in California to prescribe medications, manage chronic diseases, promote health literacy and, when needed, confer with physician specialists. Students pursuing a master’s degree through UCI’s nurse-practitioner program and students in the undergraduate program will gain hands-on experience in community-based healthcare at the clinic.

Under the five-year grant from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, UCI will partner with the El Sol school and Share Our Selves, a nonprofit, Costa Mesa-based poverty relief agency that, among other things, provides medical, dental and behavioral services. It’s expected that the nurse-practitioner clinic will open as early as next January.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

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