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Vanderbilt University Medical Center Reporter

APRN Emergency Medicine Fellowship created

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) is starting an Advanced Practice Emergency Medicine Fellowship, one of the first programs in the country exclusively for nurse practitioners specializing in emergency care.

Recipients of the yearlong, post-graduate fellowship, which begins in December, will receive specialty training in emergency care.

About 75 percent of the work will be in the Emergency Department working alongside a preceptor, said April Kapu, DNP, R.N., Associate Nursing Officer for VUMC Advanced Practice and director of the Office of Advanced Practice. The remainder of the time will be spent in a didactic and clinical curriculum.

“These fellows will have a curriculum within their specialty as well as a core fellowship curriculum,” Kapu said. “They will learn about research, finance, leadership and organizational enculturation.”

Danica Ninkovic, MSN, FNP, ACNP, R.N.

The first recipient of the fellowship is Danica Ninkovic, MSN, FNP, ACNP, R.N., who has worked at VUMC since 2010, first in Surgical Intensive Care, and, since 2015, in the Adult Emergency Department.

She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s (VUSN) Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP) program and expects to graduate next year with her Doctorate of Nursing Practice.

“I’m just very honored and blessed to have been chosen; it’s so exciting to continue to work with a great team of people,” she said.

Tyler Barrett, M.D., MSCI, associate professor of Emergency Medicine and medical director of the Adult Emergency Department, said Ninkovic is an outstanding choice for the first fellow in the program.

“She has a wealth of emergency medicine knowledge both as an experienced ED nurse and through her clinical training as a DNP candidate,” he said.

Barrett said the fellowship is one way VUMC is addressing increasing patient volume as Nashville becomes a more popular destination to live.

It also gives Vanderbilt nurses an opportunity to advance and stay in the health system.
To develop the fellowship, Kapu and Barrett consulted with Jennifer Wilbeck, DNP, R.N., associate professor of Nursing and Emergency Nurse Practitioner Specialty Coordinator at VUSN.

“The timing of this new program is perfectly aligned with growth of the ENP role nationally,” Wilbeck said. “Given the availability of a new board certification exam for Emergency Nurse Practitioners, all of the pieces are falling into place for Vanderbilt to once again emerge as a national leader in emergency care.”

Using the national curricular standards that Wilbeck helped to identify and the ENP certification exam blueprint, the curriculum offered to ENP fellows in the new program will prepare them to excel professionally.

Kapu said Vanderbilt will be applying to the American Nurses Credentialing Center to offer certification in Emergency Medicine through the fellowship. “We eventually want to be able to offer fellowships in many different areas,” Kapu said.

VUMC established the Jerita Payne Fellowship for Transplant Nurse Practitioners, which is set to accept its first student in October. The fellowship honors Jerita Payne, MSN, ACNP, MMHC, director of Clinical Transplant Services, who died in March.

Media Inquiries:
Matt Batcheldor, (615) 322-4747
matt.batcheldor@vanderbilt.edu




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