FARGO — Future health care professionals are getting a big payday to help their research.

North Dakota State University School of Nursing announced it will receive a federal grant worth more than $1.5 million to help develop a program for nurses practitioners to practice in rural clinics.

The university is teaming up with Essentia Health to make the program possible. Professors from the program said the school isn't the only thing that benefits from the grant.

"I think it's going to help patients the most because they're going to be able to access really high-quality care close to home," said Mykell Barnacle, an assistant professor at NDSU's Nursing School.

The new program is expected to start this fall.