Postgraduate Emergency Nurse Practitioner Fellowships: Opportunities for Specialty Education

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Abstract

Specialty trained emergency nurse practitioners (ENPs) can meet the demands of an unpredictable emergency care environment within an overburdened health care system. Although existing literature supports fellowship training as a method for bridging academic knowledge with clinical experiences for the novice nurse practitioner, the currently available emergency care postgraduate fellowship programs are inconsistent in approach. Building upon descriptive data provided by the existing 9 postgraduate ENP fellowship programs, a comparison and gap analysis of program content was conducted to identify perceived standards for ENP specialty education and the congruence with published ENP competencies. Standards to curricula, didactics, clinical rotations, and measures of competency were identified in the currently established ENP fellowships. A national ENP fellowship curriculum has the potential to afford consistency among programs, support attainment of competency, and provide clarity to the role and general education of advanced practice registered nurses seeking employment in emergency care.

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