Original Research| Volume 10, ISSUE 6, P378-386, June 2014

Pioneering a Primary Care Adult Nurse Practitioner Interprofessional Fellowship


      The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations funded 5 Centers of Excellence in Primary Care Education. The West Haven site pioneered the first post-master's adult nurse practitioner (NP) interprofessional fellowship to address the gap in NP education. The experiences of the initial cohort were captured through semistructured interviews. Qualitative analysis revealed 4 common themes: (1) bridging into professional practice, (2) expanded appreciation of health professionals' roles, (3) commitment to interprofessional teamwork, and (4) the necessity of mentorship. The initial findings suggest that post-master's adult NP interprofessional fellowship programs are an essential “next step” for new NPs.


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      Susan A. Zapatka, MSN, APRN, is the nurse practitioner codirector and core faculty member of the VA Connecticut Healthcare System (VACHS) Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education (CoEPCE) program in West Haven, CT. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Quinnipiac University School of Nursing in Hamden, CT, and associate clinical professor at Fairfield University School of Nursing in Fairfield, CT. She can be reached at .


      Jaclyn Conelius, PhD, APRN, is an assistant professor of nursing at Fairfield University and a faculty affiliate of the VACHS CoEPCE program.


      Jill Edwards, MSN, APRN, is the former nurse practitioner codirector of the VACHS CoEPCE program and is currently the nursing director of specialty care at VACHS.


      Emily Meyer, PhD, is a research coordinator for the VACHS CoEPCE program and a research associate at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.


      Rebecca Brienza, MD, MPH, is the physician codirector of the VACHS CoEPCE program and an assistant professor of internal medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. She is also a faculty member at Fairfield University School of Nursing.