May 11, 2001

VUSN practitioner program enriched

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Dr. Denis O'Day

VUSN practitioner program enriched

In an effort to meet the ever-changing demands of today’s health care environment, Vanderbilt School of Nursing has enriched its adult nurse practitioner (ANP) program. The changes in the program are directly related to the various needs of VUSN graduates as well as a more demanding job market.

“We are trying to better meet the needs of the adult nurse practitioner in primary care by staying abreast of the options for advanced practice nurses and their quests to expand their opportunities,” said Linda D. Norman, RN, assistant professor of the Practice of Nursing and senior associate dean for academics.

Beginning this fall, the ANP program will again expand the focus areas offered within the program context of adult primary care. To date, the program has offered study focused on correctional health and occupational health. This fall the options will expand to include older adult health and special topics in cardiovascular health.

“Adult nurse practitioners must be prepared to care for adults across the life span which includes a growing aging population,” said Leslie Coleman, MSN, RN, CS and ANP program director. “Therefore, the ANP program will provide an option for focused content on the special needs of older adults in order to meet the demands of the job market for a health care provider with a broad scope of practice.”

The special topics focus expands the content related to cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the country, Coleman said.

Special topics in cardiovascular health will focus on disease prevention and primary care management with a major emphasis on the risk factors of diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

Not only has the curriculum been revised to meet market demands, but the format in which the program is offered has also been updated to meet the needs of a broader student population. The program will be offered in an optional, nontraditional format – where classes are concentrated into blocks three to four times a semester with some of the coursework completed via online conferencing or video-streaming.

“All of our graduates, regardless of the focus area, are adult nurse practitioners,” said Coleman. “Having specific course content in a chosen focus area strengthens graduates’ knowledge base and job opportunities.”

“I think we are ahead of the trend by offering our adult nurse practitioner program in such a unique and exciting format,” said Norman.