An Advanced Practice Nursing Program for Foreign Medical Doctors: A Practical Approach

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Abstract

Aim.

This article articulates lessons learned about an accelerated family nurse practitioner course offered to foreign medical doctors who also held baccalaureate nursing degrees (BSN).

Background.

In the last decade, many physicians in the Philippines returned to school to obtain BSN degrees and licensure as registered nurses (referred to as nurse-medics) to emigrate to the United States in the hope of a better life. Once in the United States, many remain in nursing even though they prefer the practice of medicine.

Method.

This fast-track master's degree program began in fall 2006 at a university in the southwestern United States in collaboration with St. Jude College in the Philippines. By the end of this program (2010), 76 students had graduated. All who sat for the FNP national certification exam passed on the first attempt.

Results.

Due to a decrease in qualified applicants, the program eventually closed, but a number of important lessons were learned.

Conclusion.

Nursing programs planning to undertake accelerated programs to transition medical doctors to nurse practitioners should consider they retake courses such as physical assessment, pharmacology and pathophysiology.

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