FARMINGTON — Two Farmington women hope to help fill one of the biggest needs in the Four Corners: primary medical care.

Family Nurse Practitioner AliceMarie Slaven-Emond and University of New Mexico's Denise Corcoran hope to train a small group of nursing specialists, called a "cohort," to provide medical care in a rural setting.

They just need funds to do it.

Five people interested in becoming part of the group of students earning their master of science degrees in nursing as family nurse practitioners turned out Saturday morning to hear details.

"We could meet the need for more primary care providers in the Four Corners if we could bring the FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) program to Farmington," said Carolyn Montoya of the University of New Mexico's College of Nursing.

Montoya established the program for which Slaven-Emond and Corcoran are seeking funds.

Montoya credited local family nurse practitioner Slaven-Emond with suggesting the rural practitioner-oriented, long distance learning program.

If the program receives the funding it is seeking from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it would include a total of 336 clinical hours of training and nine credit hours of course work taught during the span of six semesters.

Most of the first two terms' courses would be taught online. Students would need to spend one week in Albuquerque to learn about providing gynecological care and women's health issues.

Students in the cohort would attend the last three terms of their course work via videotaped presentations.

"This will totally consume your time," Montoya told the group. "The big push for clinical hours is in the spring term of 2009, which includes 394 hours of clinical training."

Calling herself a control freak, Montoya told the group she is committed to placing fully trained students into positions in rural areas.

"It's critical that we have well-qualified students," she said.

Added Jerry Dominguez, UNM's long distance learning director, "This will be very time-consuming. I want to make sure your eyes are open to that."

If the full amount is not granted, Slaven-Emond said other funding sources could be available to the students.