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New NY state NP primary care residency program responds to physician shortage
NEW YORK — Community Healthcare Network, a New York City nonprofit that runs 12 community-based health clinics, has announced that it is accepting applications to the first Nurse Practitioners post-graduate primary care residency program in New York State, one of only a handful of primary care residencies in the nation.
The residency program will expand education and training for NPs coming into a primary care setting and offer specialty rotations in areas such as dermatology, newborn nursery, HIV and Hepatitis C, transgender care, pediatric and prenatal care.
NP residency programs address the challenging transition from university education and training to clinical practice, particularly in complex community health centers settings where family NPs see patients of all ages, often with multiple chronic illnesses; behavioral health/substance abuse issues; and socio-economic challenges, from poverty to low literacy.
“Community Healthcare Network will offer one of the very few primary care NP residencies in the nation — most NP residencies have been focused in the acute and critical setting,” stated Elizabeth Dubois, director of advanced practice nursing at CHN. “Given the complexity of medically underserved patients, residencies such as these could help increase the confidence and hands-on experience of NPs, which will help to increase retention of NPs in the primary care setting. If NPs enter the field without feeling adequately prepared, they will leave.”
CHN’s residency program is modeled after the first primary care NP residency program created in 2007 by Community Health Center, a Connecticut FQHC. Along with intensive training in full-scope primary care practice, CHN’s residency will provide training in common procedures performed in outpatient settings, such as endometrial biopsies, IUD insertions, joint injections, suturing, splinting, and the incision and drainage of abscesses. The residency program will also be the first in the nation to include a transgender health care component.
The Association of American Medical Colleges currently estimates that the United States will face a shortage of more than 91,500 physicians by 2020; a trend for more medical students to choose specialty fields over primary and emergency care is exacerbating the looming shortages in those crucial fields.
“I applaud CHN’s decision to establish a post-graduate NP residency training program,” stated Margaret Flinter, SVP and clinical director at Community Health Center. “Our experience in Connecticut, and that of the members of our National Nurse Practitioner Residency Training Program Consortium, is that this intensive post-graduate experience provides new NPs with an opportunity to develop the mastery, confidence, and competence that allows them to go anywhere — a rural or urban, large or small practice — following their residency, and to thrive as clinicians and clinical leaders in those practices.”