FNP IMMERSION AND PARTNERSHIP: PROVIDING MUCH NEEDED PRIMARY CARE TO UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS

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Five Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students have been selected to participate in a new one-year demonstration program: “An FNP Immersion and Partnership with 3 Healthy Communities” funded by the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development through the Song Brown program.

The five students will complete all of their clinical courses in one of three community clinics: Long Beach – The Children’s Family Clinic (TCC) (Jacqueline Marroquin) ; South Los Angeles – South Central Family Health (SCFHC) (Carol Bastias and Julia Routman); Central , South Los Angeles, and Compton – St John’s Well Child and Family Center (SJWCFC) (Punan Bhakta and Catherine McDonough). These clinics are among 14 community clinics targeted by the California Endowment Foundation to provide health care services for underserved populations through their Building Healthy Communities program.

In each health center, FNP students will provide primary care for patients across the life span. This immersion provides the opportunity to practice as a member of the health care team which includes physicians, social workers, nutritionists, community outreach workers, medical assistants, intake staff, and patients, their families and significant others. Students will learn to utilize community resources and make referrals for specialty care.

This one-year immersion is important because it adds 160 hours of direct patient care to the curriculum which will then prepare students to be more efficient in providing culturally competent and evidence-based care. The second year FNP students will begin their immersion with a 10-week summer session in 2014 and if necessary take online Spanish speaking courses.

The overall goal of this demonstration project is to incorporate the successful learning experiences into the FNP program. Over the past 20 years, Song Brown funds have been utilized to strengthen the FNP program by adding the most effective and up to date learning strategies.