The nurses who graduate from the 12-week program will work with primary care physicians, other care team members, and the patients themselves to coordinate follow-up care and create individualized health plans that empower and engage patients.
"This innovative leadership role for nurses is an example of how we are implementing the recommendations from the landmark report: the Institute of Medicine: 'Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health' in New Jersey," Edna Cadmus, project director, and Clinical Professor at Rutgers College of Nursing, said in a media release announcing the project.
"Through this collaborative partnership we are working to shift care delivery from an illness model to one of keeping our citizens healthy, using nurses as the linchpin to analyzing data on high-risk patients and developing coordinated plans of care. These nurses are being given a unique leadership opportunity to contribute to pioneering this new model in the state," Cadmus said.
The first class of 37 population care coordinators began their studies last month. Most of the courses are delivered online and are supplemented by three "face-to-face sessions" on the Duke and Rutgers campuses. The nurses will also take part in a residency program that integrates their coursework and skills to provide a real world experience for their new roles as care coordinators.