NEW YORK—Continuing a tradition of responding to changing health-care needs, New York University School of Education’s Division of Nursing is introducing two new certification programs designed to prepare nurse practitioners to care for people in two segments of the population that are commonly under-served— children with special needs and the homebound.

Children with Special Needs

The first of its kind in the Northeast, the Children with Special Needs program is a new sub-specialty for Division of Nursing students enrolled in the pediatric nurse practitioner master’s program and is also available to advanced practice nurses as a post-master’s certificate. The program prepares pediatric nurse practitioners to provide primary care to children with disabilities and chronic conditions. This program incorporates an interdisciplinary educational model. While preparing students for health-care delivery, program topics also cover social services, public policy and patient advocacy issues. Coursework emphasizes working with the entire family in negotiating through the complex health-care system.

“Children with disabilities have unique needs that cut across health-care issues and require a family-centered, case management approach,” said Diane McGivern, the Erline Perkins McGriff Chair of NYU Division of Nursing. “Our program goes beyond health-care delivery and promotes involvement in shaping public policy and influencing the political process to improve the quality of life for these children and their families. The program maintains a sensitivity to personal, cultural and religious values and beliefs of advanced practice nurses and the clients they serve.” The 12-credit program can be completed in a 30-week period from September to June. Courses are offered in three 10-week sessions on alternating Saturdays and can be taken for continuing education credit.

Home Health Nursing

The Advanced Practice Home Health Nursing program prepares graduates to deliver primary care to patients in their homes. Patient population includes homebound adults and children with acute illnesses requiring post-hospitalization care, people with permanent disabilities, the terminally ill and those suffering from long-term physical or mental health conditions.

“This program signifies the return of the house call, which is good news for a city where one of the biggest threats to the chronically ill is immobility,” Dr. McGivern said. “In a city with a high population of asthmatic children and elderly residents who are homebound due to chronic diseases, this program will reach populations that might otherwise suffer in silence. Also, as the length of a patient’s hospital stay decreases, the need for primary care in the home is increasing.” Medicare and Medicaid are now covering the cost of home health care delivered by nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists.

The Home Health Nursing program builds on the existing advanced practice nursing master’s degrees in pediatric, adult, elderly, holistic, nurse-midwifery, mental health and palliative care. The 12-credit program is offered as a master’s specialty component in advanced practice nursing or for a post-master’s advanced certificate for nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists or nurse-midwives. Program graduates will meet the requirements for certification as advanced practice home health nurses and are eligible to take the credential examination administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Classes are held on Saturdays. Four three-credit courses, including a 250-hour clinical practicum, cover the economics of home care, insuring quality outcomes and home-health nursing approaches and strategies. Special emphasis is given to developing skills in finance, quality management, leadership and serving culturally diverse and under-served populations.

About the NYU Division of Nursing

The Division of Nursing prepares nurses at all levels of professional education—from the baccalaureate degree to master’s and post-master’s nurse practitioner preparation in acute care, geriatrics, pediatrics, midwifery, and mental health, to doctoral education in theory and research. Graduate nursing programs at NYU offer innovative educational approaches that develop and enhance clinical, administrative and leadership skills of advanced nurses into the 21st century.

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