CNM Residency Program

El Rio Health’s Mission is to empower the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) with the skill set and support needed to become a competent clinician who is confident to deliver excellent quality care to improve the health of the El Rio Health community and to train the clinician leaders of tomorrow in the Community Health Center movement.

Our Vision is to create an APRN Residency Program in Southern Arizona that creates highly competent, knowledgeable, and skilled APRN’s to serve the medical needs of not only the population of Tucson, Arizona but to become the state model of APRN training that would provide and improve access to quality healthcare for Arizona’s most vulnerable population.

Why Postgraduate Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Residency?

Our country faces an unprecedented demand for primary care providers who are trained to organize and deliver care that is timely, safe, effective, affordable and culturally competent.

Integrated primary care is our best strategy to ensure a healthcare home for all Americans, including special populations.  Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), are the healthcare home for more than 27 million people in the U.S., and their primary care providers must be specialists in primary care for vulnerable populations.

It’s time for a change.  As we create our healthcare future, the time for residency training for Certified Nurse Midwives, using the nation’s best federally qualified health centers as the service institution base, is now!

El Rio Health’s drivers in creating Postgraduate APRN Residency training

  • FQHCs and their patients need expert primary care providers prepared to manage social and clinical complexity in the primary care setting.
  • Literature supports the perceived need and desire for post-graduate residency training for new APRNs.
  • The majority of APRNs choose primary care, but may be deterred from the FQHC setting by the gap between patient complexity and available support.
  • Post-graduate residency training provides new APRNs with the depth, breadth, and intensity of training that primes them for success as providers in FQHCs.
  • The United States faces a critical maternity care shortage with 50% of counties lacking a maternity care provider. Certified Nurse Midwives are positioned to meet this shortfall, with a comprehensive and cost effective approach to women’s health care in community health centers.
  • To provide the new APRN at El Rio Health with the tools to help them feel competent to safely deliver high quality care to the patients that El Rio Health serves in the Tucson community.
  • To provide a safety net for the new APRN at El Rio Health to be able to learn, grow in skills and to be able to balance work and life demands. Every patient at El Rio Health deserves to be seen by a highly competent, knowledgeable and skilled clinician.


Our application cycle is currently closed. To be added to our interest list, please email us at