By funding the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, the Bentson Foundation aims to help supply Minnesota with more nurses who have advanced training in family medicine, geriatrics and other specialties.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. - As Minnesota faces a looming shortage of primary care doctors, a Twin Cities foundation hopes to address the need by investing $10 million in a University of Minnesota program that develops highly trained nurses.

By funding the Doctor of Nursing Practice program, the Bentson Foundation aims to help supply Minnesota with more nurses who have advanced training in family medicine, geriatrics and other specialties. Nurses with doctoral degrees are trained to diagnose and treat conditions, prescribe drugs, and could lead a primary care practice with some physician oversight.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the foundation will provide $20,000 scholarships, enough to pay for about a year of training in the three-year program. In exchange, the university has agreed to graduate an additional 500 advanced practice nurses over the next decade.

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