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Grand rounds event highlights Advanced Practice Nursing

Jan. 31, 2019, 10:22 AM


by Matt Batcheldor

About 200 people gathered at Light Hall on Jan. 15 for the kickoff of the 2019 series of Advanced Practice Grand Rounds, a monthly educational series organized by the VUMC Office of Advanced Practice.

There are nearly 1,200 advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and physician assistants (PAs) practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said April Kapu, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, associate nursing officer for VUMC Advanced Practice and director of the Office of Advanced Practice.

Garry Brydges, DNP, MBA, CRNA, ACNP-BC, spoke at last week’s Advanced Practice Grand Rounds. (photo by Susan Urmy)

“This is a special day where we get to kick off our Grand Rounds presentations for the year,” Kapu said. “Lots of hard work has gone into this year’s educational lineup. Every month we’re able to get together as a group of professionals to listen to expert presentations given by our colleagues and engage in interprofessional scholarly conversation. It’s nice to step away from practice for this hour to gain knowledge and network with others.”

In addition to PA colleagues, APRN roles encompass Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives and Clinical Nurse Specialists.

All practitioners are educated in nationally accredited programs, clinically trained and board certified in their area of practice.

The session featured a keynote address from Garry Brydges, DNP, MBA, CRNA, ACNP-BC, chief nurse anesthetist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and president of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA). Brydges’ presentation was titled “The Value of APRN Practice Innovation: Confronting New Reimbursement Changes through Quality and Outcomes.”

Richard Miller, MD, received the Advanced Practice Ambassador Award. Here, he’s with Elizabeth Card, APRN, left, and Briana Witherspoon, DNP, ACNP. (photo by Susan Urmy)
Richard Miller, MD, received the Advanced Practice Ambassador Award. Here, he’s with Elizabeth Card, APRN, left, and Briana Witherspoon, DNP, ACNP. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Brydges discussed major changes to how Medicare reimburses medical facilities that took effect in 2019. “We used to be paid by fee for service,” he told the crowd. “The more volume we did, the more money you would generate. No longer will it be the quantity of services that you will be reimbursed for; it will be the quality of services.”

Brydges stressed the importance for advanced practice professionals to understand their value to the health system. The key, he said, is to define quality benchmarks and tie them to outcomes for patients and dollar savings for the health system.

During the kickoff session, the 2019 Advanced Practice Ambassador Award was presented to Richard Miller, MD, professor of Surgery and chief of the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care. The award honors non-advanced practice nurses for their contributions to the profession.

“We could not perform our mission without the incredible support of our nurse practitioners,” Miller said as he accepted his award. “I value each and every one of them like I value every faculty member, every resident and every fellow that helps support our very large division.”

The next Advanced Practice Grand Rounds presentation, titled “Promoting Professionalism and the CPPA Program,” will be Feb. 19 from noon to 1 p.m. in 202 Light Hall.

For more information about the Office of Advanced Practice, please visit

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