Opportunities for Alabama Rural Nurse Practitioners 

With 55 of 67 Alabama counties designated as rural, and 62 designated as primary care shortage areas, we need primary care nurse practitioners more than ever before in order to improve access to health care for all Alabamians. Nurse practitioners serving in rural or underserved communities have the experience, knowledge, and expertise needed to train future nurse practitioners and ensure they are prepared to meet the challenges associated with providing care in Alabama’s rural communities. We realize you are on the “front lines” of providing care and we want you to know we appreciate and support your efforts to improve health care for the people you serve. You have a great deal to offer and we hope you will consider partnering with us in our efforts to prepare the future nurse practitioners needed to address the needs of Alabama. As a rural nurse practitioner working with students in the UAB School of Nursing Graduate Education Primary Care Scholars initiative, you have the opportunity to invest in the providers of tomorrow.

GNEPCS Overview


Graduate Nursing Education Primary Care Scholars (GNEPCS) are current nurse practitioner students planning to provide primary care in one of Alabama’s rural-designated counties upon graduation. Primary Care Scholars enroll in the same courses as their classmates but receive mentoring, individualized content relative to rural health issues, preceptorships with rural health providers and other opportunities for professional and leadership development.

GNEPCS focuses on educating more advanced practice nurses to work in underserved areas, and on building networks connecting Alabama’s existing rural health care providers with one another and UAB—to reach more Alabamians needing primary care. 

It creates a pipeline of nurses from rural Alabama counties for recruitment into primary care nurse practitioner programs as Primary Care Scholars.

A central theme driving GNEPCS is generating and sharing new knowledge. It is structured to produce new curricula for teaching students, develop best practice models, and establish an annual summit for health care providers across the state to learn and share approaches for helping the medically underserved.  



  • Establish primary care clinical training sites in Alabama’s rural and underserved areas where scholars gain hands-on-experience working with exceptional rural providers
  • Provide ongoing professional development to meet the needs of rural primary care providers, preceptors and scholars though distance-accessible activities, including webinars
  • Create primary care nurse practitioner leaders in rural health for Alabama and beyond
  • Hold an Annual Summit where providers and stakeholders with a passion to improve access and health care for our rural communities come together to learn and exchange ideas

Benefits of being a preceptor


Rural providers who become a preceptors for students in the GNEPCS initiative receive a number of benefits, including:

  • Opportunity to share knowledge and experience preparing NPs for primary practice in rural and underserved areas
  • Ability to participate in a professional network connecting Alabama’s rural health NP providers
  • Access to distance-accessible professional development opportunities offering CEUs (free)
  • Earn precepting hours that can be submitted on your NP certification renewal application
  • Participation in an annual educational summit on rural health issues (CEUs awarded)
  • A certificate for your office acknowledging your contribution and recognizing you as a partner in educating and preparing UAB nurse practitioner students

Become a preceptor today


We continually recruit and admit primary care nurse practitioner students from all Alabama counties. These students benefit from the opportunity to train with skilled professionals who are familiar with the needs of their communities. If you are a certified nurse practitioner willing to precept students from your county (or neighboring counties), please follow the link below and provide the requested information. We will provide you with additional information on how to become a preceptor. By partnering with us and expressing your willingness to precept students, you will be provided free access to our professional development offerings. Thank you for helping prepare the Alabama NPs of tomorrow!

Preceptor Information Form

For more information:

LaCretia Plane 
Program Manager
205.975.9074  |  RuralNPs@uab.edu

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