Nurturing and mentoring the next generations of nurse educators and practice leaders is the goal of two Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) faculty members.
Through funding from the Maryland Department of Health’s Nursing Support Program (NSP-II)—and with an eye toward assuring that high-quality, state-of-the-science nursing care and services are available statewide—associate professor Mary Terhaar, DNSc, CNS, RN, and assistant professor Laura A. Taylor, PhD, RN, are implementing two innovative programs to help ease the crisis in quality nursing care from Anne Arundel to Wicomico.
Terhaar’s Stimulating Practice Innovation (SPIN) program will rapidly move the latest and best nursing research knowledge into day-to-day clinical care. Funded at $588,000 over two years, the program focuses on recent doctors of nursing practice (DNPs) graduates who frequently take on challenging senior roles in health care systems. These senior-level nurses practice at the bedside, work in primary care and community health, teach in schools of nursing, and serve in specialized roles in the broader health industry. With SPIN’s emphasis on collaborative relationships across disciplines, these DNPs will be prepared to play a key role in the practical implementation of health reform in Maryland. Terhaar says, “DNPs are problem solvers who can identify ways to improve systems of care and eliminate barriers to care for different patient population. With an eye toward best practices and patient-centered care, they can see to it that existing nurses and other health professionals are deployed in the best ways to meet the human need for care.”
With a grant of $199,000, Taylor is growing new senior-level advanced practice nurses—another group in short supply. They include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and others in similar practice who function as physician extenders by providing basic healthcare in rural and inner-city areas. The GUIDE program (Guiding Individuals for Doctoral Education) is a “boot camp” for advance practice nurses considering next career steps, such as a doctoral degree—a requisite for a career as an educator or researcher. GUIDE will provide mentoring and support, initially in Frederick and St. Mary’s counties and on the Eastern Shore, to help increase the numbers of advance practice nurses able to step up to a doctoral program and, ultimately, a career in nursing education or research. By opening a door to new advanced practice nurses, GUIDE will reduce and eliminate career burn-out and increase the number of nurse educators and research leaders active across the state.
Terhaar and Taylor agree that funding couldn’t have come at a better time. SPIN and GUIDE can help grow a needed cadre of senior-level nurses who can bring new knowledge and skills to hands-on practice across the state at the very moment of health reform implementation.