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School of Nursing and Memorial Hermann Create New Partnership
Chief of advanced practice position may be a first in the nation
A newly created position formed through a partnership of Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center and The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston will "create a new frontier in nursing by merging dynamic relationships in patient care, education and research," according to Elizabeth Fuselier, D.N.P., who has been named to the position as chief of advanced practice at Memorial Hermann.
While continuing as assistant professor of clinical nursing at the UT School of Nursing, Fuselier will work to establish a cutting- edge advanced practice model for nurse practitioners and physicians assistants while expanding the number and types of advanced practice health care providers within the hospital. In the new position, she oversees all elements of the advanced practice program and collaborates with hospital administrators and staff.
"Having a chief of advanced practice position is, to my knowledge, a first in the nation," said UT School of Nursing Dean Patricia L. Starck, D.S.N. "This signifies that nursing care will be at the highest level for patients at Memorial Hermann, and it also will create an ideal learning environment for students in our doctoral and masters' programs."
An agreement between the hospital and the nursing school, ranked in the top 8 percent of U.S. graduate nursing programs by U.S. News and World Report, runs through at least August 2009.
"I am thrilled that our two institutions share a vision for this program," said Juanita Romans, CEO of Memorial Hermann- Texas Medical Center. "Our partnership is an innovative approach for Memorial Hermann to improve patient safety and provide the best possible clinical outcomes with exceptional patient care experiences."
In September 2006, the UT School of Nursing admitted 16 candidates for the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) degree as the Class of 2009. Only the 12th program of its kind in the nation, UT's was the first in Texas to offer the new doctoral program for the nursing career.
"The UT School of Nursing intends to be the national leader in developing the role of D.N.P," said Thomas A. Mackey, Ph.D., the school's associate dean for practice. "This new partnership with Memorial Hermann will provide us the opportunity to develop innovative collaborative models of care, educate our D.N.P students and advance our clinical research agenda."
Registered nurses become nurse practitioners after receiving a masters' degree in clinical practice. They are able to diagnose, treat and manage acute and chronic illnesses.
A doctor of nursing practice includes courses in ethics, informatics, emerging science, evidence-based practice and patient management. The goal is to allow nurses to have the highest level of education possible as they work with collaborative health care teams in addressing complex disease processes in a diverse population.
"I'm looking forward to having UT physicians work with Dr. Fuselier in developing new models of patient care at Memorial Hermann Hospital," said Bruce C. Kone, M.D., holder of the James T. and Nancy B. Willerson Chair and chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the UT Medical School at Houston. "This opportunity will enhance the integration of advanced practice nurses into our health care team, enhance patient care and decrease stress on physicians."
Before joining UT's faculty in December 2005, Fusilier worked as the lead nurse practitioner at Ochsner Clinic Foundation in New Orleans, where she was responsible for the administrative and professional operations of 120 advanced practice nurses. At the School of Nursing, she was executive clinical director of UT Health Services.
"Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, the nursing school and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are on the forefront of health care and making nursing history by placing a nurse with a D.N.P. in this creative position," Fuselier said.
By Deborah Mann Lake, Institutional Advancement
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