Professor Sue DeNisco, director of SHU’s doctor of nursing program, and Professor Julie Stewart, director of the family nurse practitioner track, were the keynote/plenary speakers at the National Doctor of Nursing Practice Conference on October 9 in Nashville, Tenn.
This seventh national conference provided a forum for advanced practice nurses, leaders, policy makers and scholars to further explore and share competencies of the DNP-prepared nurse that can influence health-care practice, delivery and patient outcomes. More than 650 participants attended with goals of learning how best to contribute to improving the health of populations and also to identify how the DNP-prepared nurse impacts health care in relation to improving the patient experience of care, including quality and satisfaction. The conference also addressed innovative roles of the DNP-prepared nurse that impact the Triple Aim (the health, the care and the cost).
DeNisco’s and Stewart’s presentation described how DNP students who participate in an interprofessional global health experience to either Jamaica or Guatemala with the School of Nursing at SHU are better prepared to influence health care practice, delivery and patient outcomes of the underserved and disadvantaged populations in the United States. The two discussed a global health interprofessional experience where DNP students are encouraged to go on a one-week service learning immersion experience to Guatemala or Jamaica to augment classroom learning in their epidemiology and population health course.
“We described the evidence-based practice projects that the students carry out with the help of BSN, MSN/FNP, occupational therapy, physical therapy, students, as well as physicians and physician assistants,” Stewart said. “A discussion of how students learn the values underlying other disciplines and learn effective communication strategies that enhance and streamline patient care and increase patient and provider satisfaction in global health care took place. The ways that DNP students apply global health competencies to their practice areas, especially in the federally qualified health centers and federally designated health professional shortage areas, to create a high-quality health-care environment that promotes patient satisfaction were highlighted.
A discussion concluded the program covering health-care volunteer vacationing and medical tourism as potentially harmful and the need to plan for sustainability of projects by recognizing that health-care workers are guests of the communities served. “We need to make sure we develop goals with community leaders, maintain global best practices, avoid temporary solutions, address root causes of issues, provide follow-up care by working closely with local health-care providers, show respect for the culture of the community and work within the appropriate scope of practice for each professional role,” Stewart said.