ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSING PROGRAM EDPANDS STUDENTS SKILLS AND OPPORTUNITIES
Today's health care system is changing as care moves out of hospitals and into the community. Cost-conscious patients, meanwhile, are beginning to choose nurses as their primary health care providers.
The College of Nursing is answering the challenge of an evolving field by revising its graduate program in Advanced Practice Nursing (APN). The program merges clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner competencies, equipping graduates with diverse skills and broader job opportunities. Prepared as advanced practice nurses, graduates will provide specialized clinical services to clients and influence evolving systems of care to meet client needs.
Advanced practice nurses are prepared in various clinical areas. "The more flexible you are in a changing environment, the more you meet job expectations, are satisfied in your professional life, and provide better quality health care to clients," says Betty Essman, a professor in the program.
Janice Pedersen, director of professional and graduate admissions in the College of Nursing, says APN students benefit from the integration of clinical nurse specialist and nurse practitioner knowledge: The former generally stresses research, teaching, administrative, consultant, and clinician roles, while the latter includes diagnosing and treating common health problems with prescriptive privileges. "As advanced practice nurses, they're prepared to fulfill either of these roles," Pedersen says. "In these extended roles, there are more employment opportunities."
Graduates can seek New York State nurse practitioner certification and national certification as clinical nurse specialists in their specialty areas. Essman says the program's broad education enables students to choose their paths in nursing.|
First-year student Donna Felton's goal is to work as a nursing instructor. She hopes her studies increase her value in the job market. "I think the school was very savvy in saying it wanted to have a role in producing nurse practitioners that are geared toward adult, family, and pediatric care," she says.
Dawn Schmalzriedt, a first-year student working toward a pediatric nurse practitioner degree, says she particularly benefits from the program's first-semester focus on well children. "By providing us with the opportunity to see a whole semester's worth of well children, the program provides us with a great base so that when we do see sick kids or abnormalities, we can more easily identify them."
The College of Nursing is known for visionary leadership, Pedersen says. "We anticipate the needs for health care and how the systems are changing in order to educate our students for the future. We know what it takes to get there."