The pipeline program is specifically designed for community health centers.
The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC), the regional association of community clinics and health centers in California, partnered with Chin Family Institute for Nursing (CFIN) at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), to launch the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Community Care Residency Program.
Under the new program, newly licensed FNPs will receive post-graduate training at community health centers across Los Angeles.
The FNP residency program is designed specifically for community health centers, directing added high-quality healthcare to more underserved populations in Los Angeles County.
FNPs are educated to offer primary healthcare services to patients of all ages, addressing a wide variety of illnesses and injuries, as well as overall wellness. FNPs operate at a higher level of autonomy, and do not require the supervision of a physician. NPs can pursue many different specialties, and about two-thirds of aspiring nurse practitioners earn certification as FNPs, according to American Association of Nurse Practitioners data.
California is undergoing a major shortage of primary care physicians, according to the California Health Care Foundation, so CCALAC, which serves about 1.7 million patients, most of whom live below the poverty line, partnered with Cal State LA to develop a pipeline program specifically designed for community health centers. CFIN, which serves as a center for nursing excellence, also places an emphasis on caring for diverse, underserved urban populations.
The 8-month program, only the second FNP program in Los Angeles County, provides intensive training and on-the-job experience to FNP residents, while supporting the needs of health centers and their patients, according to a press release.
The inaugural program cohort of nine residents is training at five community health centers in Los Angeles, including Via Care Community Health Center, where Deborah Villar is CEO.
"FNPs are essential to our community clinic model," Villar said. "Along with helping meet the demand for healthcare services for low-income families in East Los Angeles, our family nurse practitioners assess not only the physical aspects of patient care, but also the mental and psychosocial needs as well. This is especially important for our patients that often face poverty and violence in addition to poor health."
Residents are recent graduates of Columbia University School of Nursing, North Park University in Chicago, Azusa Pacific University, Sonoma State, Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, UC San Francisco School of Nursing, and Cal State LA. All are licensed FNPs who hold master's or doctorate degrees in nursing and additional certification beyond a regular nursing degree.
Once the program is complete in August, clinics may extend an employment offer to residents.
"This is a win-win situation," said Louise McCarthy, CCALAC president and CEO. "We set new FNPs up for success and create a pipeline of qualified primary care providers within the community health center setting."
“This is a win-win situation. We set new FNPs up for success and create a pipeline of qualified primary care providers within the community health center setting.”
Louise McCarthy, CCALAC president and CEO
Carol Davis is the Nursing Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.
A new FNP residency program is designed specifically for community health centers, directing added high-quality healthcare to more underserved populations in Los Angeles County.
The 8-month program provides intensive training and on-the-job experience to family nurse practitioner residents, while supporting the needs of health centers and their patients.
The program's newly licensed FNPs receive post-graduate training at community health centers across Los Angeles.