Current Policy Development
Nurse practitioners, with their intensive graduate education and clinical training, enter practice ready to provide safe, high-quality care. The demanding role of primary care provider in community health centers calls for more: an intensive training bridge to support the transition from new Nurse Practitioner to primary care provider. Our goal is to provide new Nurse Practitioners with the training and support that will enable them to create and thrive in practice careers as primary care providers in community health centers.
- In the U.S., federal graduate medical education funds and legislation has supported residency training for doctors since Medicare legislation was enacted in 1965. There has been no funding or opportunity for Nurse Practitioner residency training. Considering the demands of practice at Federally Qualified Health Centers, we can’t leave it to chance that new NPs will get the support they need.
- The literature suggests that the concept of a practice residency or fellowships has taken place in the acute care setting and in specialty areas across the nation, with many hospital sponsoring training for novice NPs.
- Literature also provides evidence that new NPs experience a very difficult transition as they move from university to practice. At least one national survey documents that the majority of NPs would choose residency if one were available.
(Hart, A. M. and Macnee, C. L. (2007), How well are nurse practitioners prepared for practice: Results of a 2004 questionnaire study. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 19: 35–42.)
- The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) calls for increasing the number of patients served in FQHCs from 20 million to 40 million. Section: 5316 of the PPACA authorizes a demonstration project to replicate the NP residency model. NPs, with a focus on prevention, comprehensive care, and holistic approach are ideally suited for FQHC practice as primary care providers.
- The Institute of Medicine's two-year Initiative on the Future of Nursing, chaired by former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, has released its report, called "The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health." The report concludes with eight key recommendations, including recommendation #3: Implement nurse residency programs. Recommendation #3 calls for action to support nurses' completion of transition-to-practice residency after they have completed a pre-licensure or an advanced practice degree program, as well as when transitioning into a new clinical area. Section 3 (pp3-1 through 3-53) of the report, titled "Transforming Practice," includes an elaboration on the need for residency training for new nurse practitioners and specifically references (p. 3-34) the testimony of Margaret Flinter, SVP and clinical director of Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC), on the need for residency training for new nurse practitioners and the model developed by CHC in establishing the country's first formal such residency training program for advanced practice registered nurses.
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