February 6, 2012

Curriculum: Adult nurse practitioner programs will now cover entire adult age spectrum

Students enrolled in adult primary and adult acute care nurse practitioner programs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing will soon focus on every aspect of adult care, from post-adolescent to older adult.

The Adult Acute Care NP curriculum, renamed Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, is transitioning this semester to a format that integrates the full range of gerontology expertise. In the fall, the Adult Nurse Practitioner program will become the Adult-Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program.

“The changes will prepare NP graduates to provide acute, critical and chronic care services across the entire spectrum of adult health,” said associate professor Julie Stanik-Hutt, director of the master’s program. “Graduates will continue to focus their practice on the care of individuals who are physiologically unstable, technologically dependent and requiring frequent monitoring and/or interventions, and those who are highly vulnerable for complications.”

These modifications reflect nursing’s need for increased depth of expertise in addressing the expanding population of older adults. Recent policy changes regarding the role and population focus for certified registered nurse practitioners have been identified in the new NP competencies and were outlined in the 2008 Consensus Model for APRN Regulation: Licensure, Accreditation, Certification and Education. The model has been endorsed by more than 45 national nursing organizations and provides the framework for these new population focuses.