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This Golden LEAF grant will be used to assist the School of Nursing to increase the number of Nurse Practitioners in tobacco dependent counties by providing Registered Nurses residing in these counties with opportunities to earn graduate nursing degrees from UNC Chapel Hill. The program will prepare RNs for leadership positions as Nurse Practitioners while they continue to live and work in their home communities. The long-term goal is to build the healthcare infrastructure in rural, tobacco dependent, and economically distressed counties of the state.