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New nurse practitioner residency at VA Medical Center in Durham, N.C.

Friday May 16, 2014
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Duke University School of Nursing and Durham (N.C.) Veterans Affairs Medical Center have launched a psychiatric nurse practitioner residency program to develop expertise in mental healthcare delivery for military veterans. The program at the Durham VA Medical Center is for psychiatric nurse practitioners with less than a year of experience since graduation.

“We call upon nurse practitioners who are committed to delivering the highest-quality mental healthcare for the heroes who served their country,” said Greg Eagerton, RN, DNP, NEA-BC, co-director of the residency program and associate director for patient care and chief nurse executive at the Durham VA.

Since 2001, 2.4 million active duty and reserve military personnel have been deployed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of this group, 30%, nearly 730,000 men and women, will have a mental health condition requiring treatment.

The new residency program will give nurse practitioners experience with a diverse group of patients needing treatment for mental health conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Nurse practitioner residents will work with experienced providers, treating patients in a variety of settings, advancing their skills and learning about integrated healthcare for veterans.

“This is part of a growing national movement to create nurse practitioner residency programs where healthcare professionals are given support and mentorship during their transition to practice years facilitating movement to becoming truly excellent providers,” said Michael Zychowicz, RN, DNP, ANP, ONP, FAAN, FAANP, co-director of the residency program and associate professor and director of the MSN Program at Duke University School of Nursing. “This residency will give three nurse practitioners per year a chance to grow professionally within the mental health fields and offer much-needed service to veterans.”

Residents accepted into the program also are eligible to apply to Duke University School of Nursing’s doctorate of nursing practice program. The 12-month residency is open to graduates of an accredited psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner program, with an MSN degree or higher, who are board certified as a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner.

Interested applicants can contact Claudette Forest, RN nurse recruiter, Claudette.forrest@va.gov, Durham VA Medical Center, 508 Fulton Street, B10019 (118), Durham, NC 27705.


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