January 17, 1997

Pathfinder Meeting- Questions and Answers.

Continuing this week in the Reporter, VUMC leadership answers questions submitted by faculty and staff following the recent meetings outlining the institution's strategic direction.

This week's questions were answered by Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs, Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing.

How does the new emphasis on the "business of health care" address the spiritual needs of the patient?

Jacobson ‹ We continue to place the needs of our patients ‹ whether physical, emotional or spiritual ‹ above everything else. Meeting these needs remains our first priority and, parenthetically, what is best for our patients is best for business.

I have heard the mission of VUMC is either two or three pronged. Which is right?

Jacobson ‹ The broad missions of VUMC are patient care, education and research. The administration seeks to create an atmosphere in which all of these missions can flourish and in which all three are given equal priority.

The School of Nursing and its billing procedures does not address the needs of advanced practice RNs at VUMC. In July, I billed for almost $7,000 of services, and by September, the payment for these fees was about $350. Can we develop a task force to address this issue.

Conway-Welch ‹ Full-time faculty in the School of Nursing who are engaged in advanced nursing practice are credentialed through the Nurse Credentialing Committee and as a Nurse Affiliate through the medical staff credentialling process. Upon approval by the Medical Center Board and the Hospital Committee of the Board of Trust, the nurse faculty (who meets the criteria of the state board of nursing for the nurse practitioner/advanced practice nursing certificate of fitness) is granted privileges as a nurse affiliate and issued a provider number. The Vanderbilt Nurse Faculty Practice Plan has been established to allow these faculty in the School of Nursing to bill for their services.

The medical staff bylaws also provide for other nurses who are "salaried employees of the hospital of the School of Medicine" to be credentialed as nurse affiliates provided they meet the criteria for the state board of nursing, nurse practitioner/advanced practice nursing certificate of fitness. See Article V in the medical staff bylaws. Under these circumstances, the nurse can also be processed as a nurse affiliate and receive a provider number. In this case, billing would be negotiated with the supervisor and the VMG.

Nursing was not mentioned very much and scholarships for masters degrees in nursing are rare (often harder to get than medical school scholarships). Why is this and what does the nursing staff mean to VUMC?

Conway-Welch ‹ More than 80 percent of our students are on scholarship or tuition assistance. In addition, VUMC offers additional support for tuition assistance to their nurse employees if the following conditions are met:

1) General guidelines

€ Must have completed your 90-day probationary period

€ Must be employed by Patient Care Services, Operative Services or The Vanderbilt Clinic

€ Must be working towards a degree in Nursing (AD, BS, MS)

2) Program for attending VUSN

€ Employees with less than three years of continuous full-time service will receive 100 percent of seven hours per year

€ Employees will three or more years of continuous service will receive 100 percent of 12 hours per year

3) Program for attending other schools

€ Reimbursement for up to six hours per semester. These six hours are not to exceed the equivalent cost of 47 percent of a four-hour course at Vanderbilt. Employee not to receive more than 12 hours per year.

The necessary application forms can be obtained from the Finance Office for Patient Care Services, located at AAA-1203 Medical Center North, or call 343-8953. Please specify which school you are attending as the forms are different.