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Kapu to direct VUSN’s clinical, community partnerships

Jul. 29, 2021, 9:15 AM


by Matt Batcheldor

April Kapu, DNP, APRN

April Kapu, DNP, APRN, has left her role as associate nursing officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center Advanced Practice and director of the Office of Advance Practice, and begun a new position as associate dean for Clinical and Community Partnerships at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN).

Kapu reports to Pam Jones, DNP, RN, senior associate dean for Clinical and Community Partnerships. Kapu will continue to teach in VUSN’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program.

“It is an honor to join such an esteemed group of faculty,” Kapu said. “They are all highly respected, accomplished and well-known. We have a fantastic new dean (Pamela Jeffries, PhD, RN) who is innovative and focused on the future of the university, faculty and students. It is very exciting to be part of the School of Nursing at this particular time.”

Her new academic role, which began July 1, will help strengthen VUSN’s clinical and community programs as well as its continued partnership with VUMC. School of Nursing faculty oversee several VUMC community-based clinics, including the Vanderbilt Birth Center (formerly Baby+Company), Vanderbilt Midwives Melrose, Metro Nashville Public Schools clinics and various primary care clinics. These clinics provide a rich teaching environment for students.

In addition, she will partner with VUMC to support the preceptor matching program for student placement. This is an important part of the VUMC/-VUSN partnership as many VUSN students complete their practicum at VUMC and many of them are hired by the Medical Center.

“April’s expertise in expanding the role of APRNs to meet health care needs for the VUMC medical enterprise has given her a unique perspective that will help us strategize new ways to deliver quality health care through nurse-led clinics and initiatives,” Jones said. “VUSN and VUMC have a long history of nurse-managed care, and we are excited about continued innovation and development.”

In addition to her new role, Kapu began her term as president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) on July 1 and is now responsible for leading the nation’s largest association of nurse practitioners — more than 325,000 people — for the next two years.

“In her AANP role, April advocates for the nursing profession in the media and with policymakers,” Jeffries said. “Now, more than ever before, government and other organizations are aware of the contributions of nurses, so now is the time for nurses to focus on shaping health care policy. April’s work will be a strong model for our students at the same time that it generates change.”

Over the last 16 years at VUMC, Kapu was instrumental in the development of the adult critical care nurse practitioner program and the growth of overall advanced practice from 350 to more than 1,400 people.

“We’ve grown quite a bit through the years,” Kapu said. “Nurse practitioners are part of the fabric of Vanderbilt. We all work very closely together with the health care team.”

“April has worked tirelessly with physician and nursing leaders to strengthen the advanced practice leadership track, paving the way for many APRNs to pursue leadership roles and enrich our Magnet-designated culture,” said Marilyn Dubree, MSN, RN, NE-BC, VUMC Executive Chief Nursing Officer. “Her experience and expertise in practice and leadership will continue to strengthen the rich collaborative partnership between the School of Nursing and the growing VUMC enterprise. Please join me in congratulating April in her new position and future journey here at Vanderbilt.”

Plans are underway to launch a national search for VUMC’s next advanced practice leader. In the interim, Michelle Terrell, DNP, APRN, PNP will lead the regional and ambulatory work of the Office of Advanced Practice. Jill Kinch, MMHC, APRN, PNP, will oversee the Office of Advanced Practice, support the adult inpatient enterprise and serve as the representative of advanced practice on the Nursing Enterprise Cabinet.

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