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Nurse Practitioner Perspective on Education and Post-Graduate Training

Recommendations from the Nurse Practitioner Roundtable
Endorsed by ANA: 

The following recommendations are based on forty years of patient outcomes and clinical research that have demonstrated that NPs consistently provide high quality, competent care.

  • NPs are prepared to be fully licensed providers at graduation.  No added academic clinical or supervisory hours are necessary for safe patient care.  Mandating a formal program after graduation  is not necessary and would create new, costly bottlenecks to building the provider workforce.
  • NP graduates are highly competent clinicians with consistently strong patient outcomes.  There is no evidence to justify additional delays or costs to taxpayers to support mandatory post-graduate training or to impose ADDITIONAL regulatory constraints to the new NP upon entry into practice.  The new NP graduate is competent and legally-recognized to practice upon attainment of licensure, which is linked to completion of an educational program and successful certification in a particular population focus in primary care or acute care.
  • Post-graduate orientation may offer opportunities to support transitions between practice settings, for both new graduates and seasoned clinicians in all health disciplines.  Post-graduate orientation cannot substitute for formal education preparation.  An individual cannot use post-graduate training to move into a new population focus area or practice or to move between acute and primary care practice.
  • The NP Roundtable promotes the use of the term “fellowship” for post-graduate preparation to define the existing programs in the VA and other similarly proposed programs.  This would help clarify that licensure is not contingent on completing these offering and would prevent confusion with the medical model in which a residency is required for specialization and licensure.
  • NPs currently provide nearly one-fifth of all primary care services in the US and represent the fastest growing segment of the primary care workforce.  In 2013, over 14,000 new NP graduates completed formal graduate-level educational programs and joined the other 189,000 NPs in the health care workforce.  Over two-thirds of NPs have received educational preparation in primary care, and collectively NPs positively impact access, quality, and cost-effectiveness of primary and acute health care of the nation.”

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