The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing and two local health care entities were recently honored with a Texas State Senate Resolution for their efforts to address the shortage of primary health care providers through the creation of a family nurse practitioner residency program.
The two members of the first class of residents will begin their one-year training program in fall 2011 at one of the CommUnityCare clinics in Austin, and each will make a commitment to practice in facilities that serve the indigent after graduation. The residency program is the second such program in the country and was modeled after one at the Community Health Center in Middletown, Conn.
The goal of the program is to support the transition from new nurse practitioner to being a primary care provider, said Dr. Diane Tyler, professor of clinical nursing.
"It will provide new nurse practitioners with special clinical training to serve in the complex setting of our community's federally qualified health centers," she said.
The residency program is a collaborative effort among the School of Nursing, CommUnityCare and Central Health, which provide primary care services to the underserved.
"The new nurse practitioner residency program will help prepare recent graduates for the increasingly complex world of medicine, focusing on the unique needs of underserved populations here in central Texas," said Dr. Lisa Doggett, director of the school's Family Wellness Center. "The partnership among Central Health, CommUnityCare and the School of Nursing provides a strong foundation for this program."
Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) read the resolution on the floor of the State Capitol.
"Resolved, that the Senate of the state of Texas, 82nd Legislature, hereby commend CommUnityCare, the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing and Central Health for creating a family nurse practitioner residency program that is among the first in the nation and is designed to help alleviate the critical shortage of primary care providers."