This article is part of Clinical Advisor’s coverage of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) 2019 meeting, taking place in New Orleans, Louisiana. Our staff will report on medical research related to pediatric health conducted by experts in the field. Check back regularly for more news from NAPNAP 2019.


NEW ORLEANS — Implementing fellowship programs for nurse practitioners may help alleviate the workforce shortage of physician providers in developmental-behavioral pediatrics (DBP), according to research presented at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners 2019 meeting held March 7–10 in New Orleans. Interest in fellowship programs among advanced practice nurses (APNs) is high (>90%) as options for post-graduate training for APNs who wish to specialize their practice are limited.

A pilot fellowship program, which catered to the outpatient APN, was designed to be completed by either a new graduate or an APN transitioning from primary care or another specialty.

The APN fellowship was integrated with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education DBP fellowship for physicians. The first half of the intensive 12-month program focused on knowledge and clinical skill building, while the second half focused on developing clinical competence.

Program outcomes included clinical competence, provision of high quality care, productivity, completion of a capstone project, and transition into practice. The fellow selected for the pilot program was a full time employee eligible for full salary, benefits, and medical staff privileges and completed the pilot year with clinical competence, increased specialty knowledge, and an easy transition to full time practice.

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Since its initiation, a second fellow has completed the DBP fellowship, and a second fellowship program has been implemented in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

“Accreditation of fellowship programs and creation of certification examinations in specialty areas will help to standardize the quality of programs, validate the advanced training of fellowship prepared APNs, and establish funding sources,” the authors of the study noted.

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Reference

Marcoux KK, Dickson S. Advancing the practice of nursing through specialty fellowship development. Presented at the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners 2019 National Conference; March 7-10, 2019; New Orleans.