Contact: Daniel Murphy
Release: November 19, 2010
Moon Township, PA, (November 19, 2010)
– Heritage Valley Health System and Robert Morris University have agreed to partner on the university’s Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. The partnership enables faculty in the DNP program to work clinically at Heritage Valley’s ConvenientCare retail medicine sites; allows DNP students to gain clinical exposure to retail medicine; and fosters research collaboration between Heritage Valley Health System and Robert Morris University.
The DNP program at Robert Morris is designed to prepare advanced-practice nurses to apply nursing science, evidence-based medicine, and clinical reasoning at the highest level. Utilizing expert communication and leadership skills, DNP students are taught to integrate theory, clinical inquiry, information technology, and evidence-based practice for clinical decision-making and quality patient care. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses certified to diagnose and manage patients; though in Pennsylvania they must have a physician collaborator.
The DNP is an advanced-level practice degree focusing on the clinical aspects of nursing and applied research. RMU currently has 87 students enrolled in the DNP program at post master’s level and 70 BSN-DNP students who will be prepared in one of three nurse practitioner subspecialties: Family, Adult, or Psych-Mental Health. Nationally, approximately 130 colleges and universities offer this program. Eleven colleges and universities in Pennsylvania offer the DNP. Robert Morris University was the first school of nursing to receive Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing approval for nursing practice (NP) education at the doctoral level.
Dr. Judith Kaufmann, director of the DNP programs at RMU, regards this collaboration with Heritage Valley as a model for academic and clinical scholarship that will optimize quality improvement in healthcare delivery. “Nurse practitioners are playing an important role in the evolving healthcare systems. With the increased responsibilities, comes the mandate for higher level education and interdisciplinary cooperation that will result in better patient outcomes.”
DNP students at Robert Morris must complete a capstone project that is based on high quality current evidence and clinical translation of research into patient care. This applied research component recently gained critical funding through an Alvin J. Rogal Research grant from the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. It is in the setting of enhanced project funding that Heritage Valley Health System and Robert Morris University will collaborate to provide DNP students the opportunity to perform meaningful research of the highest quality.
Heritage Valley Health System operates five retail medicine sites as “Heritage Valley ConvenientCare” at Walmart stores in Chippewa, Cranberry Township, East Liverpool, Monaca, and New Castle. Care at ConvenientCare is provided by Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners and is supervised by a staff of Heritage Valley physicians. The sites offer appointment-free, walk-in convenience and were designed to accommodate the flexible healthcare needs of today’s busy families.
“The synergistic relationship that we have formed ties Robert Morris University’s DNP faculty and students into a working relationship with Heritage Valley’s ConvenientCare locations with a research component that will give both organizations new insight into retail medicine,” said John Luellen, M.D., medical director for satellite services at Heritage Valley and board member of the Convenient Care Association, a national association of companies and healthcare systems that provide consumers with accessible, affordable, quality healthcare in retail-based locations.
About Robert Morris University
Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania. More information is available at www.rmu.edu.
About Heritage Valley Health System
Heritage Valley Health System provides comprehensive healthcare for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with more than 400 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its two hospitals, Heritage Valley Beaver and Heritage Valley Sewickley; in physician offices; and community satellite facilities. Additional information about Heritage Valley Health System is available online at www.heritagevalley.org.