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UC Davis offers primary care program master’s degree option


Starting this summer, a UC Davis program will offer master’s degrees to students in its nurse practitioner and physician assistant program in Sacramento, Calif.

In the past 40 years, the program has graduated 1,800 NPs and PAs, with 67% of graduates working in underserved areas, according to a news release. Additionally, nearly 70% of graduates work in primary care, compared to much lower national averages of between 30% and 40%.

Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing Heather Young, RN, PhD, FAAN, said this move enables the program to be part of the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Degree Program.

“The new curriculum will provide a broad education that includes advanced skills in understanding complex problems and generating solutions, understanding how health systems and healthcare works and how to improve quality, how to lead teams and deal with the business aspects of care including informatics and reimbursement,” Young said in the release.

The program previously offered graduate certificates to the FNP and PA tracks. Master’s degrees are required to earn an NP license, and in the past, students achieved this through a unique agreement with California State University, Sacramento. UC Davis leaders also needed to prepare for accreditation changes that will require master’s degrees for PA programs by 2021.

“Graduates will be better prepared to work as leaders of healthcare teams and learn methods to continually critique and improve their care, provide care that is evidence-based, and to establish systems of care to address population health,” Young said in the release.

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