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Nursing Faculty Practice Opens at the College of Dentistry

With the opening this summer of a College of Nursing (NYUCN) Faculty Practice at the NYU College of Dentistry, New Yorkers’ access to primary health care services just got easier. When the Division of Nursing joined the College of Dentistry last fall as a new College of Nursing, one of the stated objectives was to address health-care challenges of the 21st century through innovative practice models and responsive, patient-centered care. The new Nursing Faculty Practice is an example of that approach.

Staffed and managed by NYU Nurse Practitioner (NP) faculty, the Nursing Faculty Practice is initially targeting older adults, whose high prevalence of chronic illness puts them at risk for increased morbidity with resulting disability and decreased quality of life. Over time, services for all age groups will be offered.

An NP is a licensed, registered nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education and training at the master’s or doctoral level and is competent to diagnose and manage common medical conditions, including chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and asthma. Nurse Practitioners provide a wide range of preventive and acute health-care services to individuals of all ages and can serve as a patient’s regular health-care provider either independently or in collaboration with a physician.

Typical Nurse Practitioner services include diagnosis and treatment of acute health problems such as infections and injuries; diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure; prescribing medications; specialist referrals; health maintenance care for adults, including annual physicals; well-woman exams, including PAP smears, STD testing and contraception; routine immunizations, including flu shots; mental health assessment and support for conditions such as anxiety, depression and stress; educational programs and services on topics such as CPR, exercise, nutrition, and smoking cessation.

“The NYU Nursing Faculty Practice provides a core of services that address not only disease-based clinical management, but also health promotion and disease prevention,” said Dr. Terry Fulmer, Dean of the College of Nursing. “Most studies indicate that at least 85 percent of primary care office visits can be managed equally well by NPs or MDs. Our faculty practice, in collaboration with both a physician who is a long-time member of the nursing faculty and with dental faculty, brings an added dimension to the overall health care available to patients.”

Patients will be referred to the Nursing Faculty Practice by the professional and clerical staff at the NYU dental clinics and be seen by NYUCN Nurse Practitioners. Patients who have a primary care provider will be offered health promotion services that complement the care they are already receiving. Those who do not have a primary care provider will be offered the option of receiving their primary care at the Nursing Faculty Practice. Patient records will include both dental and general health information. This shared information will provide a more comprehensive health-care record than currently exists in other practice models.

“The core philosophy of the new Nursing Faculty Practice is individualized care, with a focus on prevention, wellness and patient education priorities, and an important part of that is easy access to care” said Dr. Carolyn Auerhahn, who is both an Adult and a Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and one of the nursing faculty NPs who will be staffing the Nursing Faculty Practice.

“The fact that we’re located within the NYU Dental Clinics supports that concept by offering both convenience and consumer-centered care.”

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