Advanced Practice Nursing focus of grand rounds eventJan. 29, 2020, 1:42 PM
by Matt Batcheldor
About 200 people gathered in Light Hall on Jan. 21 for the kickoff of the 2020 series of Advanced Practice Grand Rounds, a monthly educational series organized by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Office of Advanced Practice.
The session featured a keynote address by Capt. James Dickens, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) and branch chief for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Dickens, a board-certified family nurse practitioner with more than 30 years of experience in the federal health care system, gave the presentation “Impact of Diverse, Unified, Interprofessional Teams to Achieve Highly Reliable Care.”
Dickens spoke about multiple notable medical deployments to far-flung parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Northern Mariana Islands in the South Pacific and Liberia in West Africa.
In the latter country, Dickens was part of a response team to the Ebola outbreak that was gripping that region of Africa five years ago. He described how it was essential that the interprofessional team worked together — health care workers, representatives of multiple federal agencies and local officials — because everyone’s health depended on it.
“When I was in Liberia, everything that we did with our Ebola patients was very intentional,” he said. “There was nothing that wasn’t rehearsed or orchestrated when we went in with an EVD (Ebola virus disease) patient who was active.”
Dickens described working in 100-degree heat wearing protective gear that covered every inch of his body.
“This was the biggest, most interprofessional team that I worked with in my career,” he said.
“They were the most diverse team.”
Dickens imparted advice to the gathered crowd of advanced practice professionals. “Whatever group you’re in, expect to be one of the leaders,” he said. “You’re a go-to person. That’s why you’re there.”
There are more than 1,200 advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) and physician assistants (PAs) practicing at VUMC.
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.
This year’s Grand Rounds theme is “promoting inclusion and unity among diverse interprofessional team members to provide the highest quality and accessible health care,” said April Kapu, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC, associate nursing officer for VUMC Advanced Practice and director of the Office of Advanced Practice.
During the kickoff session, the 2020 Advanced Practice Ambassador Award was presented to Kim Sandler, MD, assistant professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences and assistant director of the Vanderbilt Lung Screening Program. The award honors non-advanced practice nurses for their contributions to the profession.
The next Advanced Practice Grand Rounds presentation, “Implementing a Targeted Trauma NP Rounding and Paging Strategy to Improve Efficiency, Patient Safety and Job Satisfaction,” will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, in 512 Light Hall.
For more information about the Office of Advanced Practice, go here.