Evidence-Based Mentoring of Family Nurse Practitioner Students in Rural Underserved Appalachia

Tuesday, 13 July 2010: 8:50 AM

Mary E. Bowen, DNS, JD, FNP-BC, NEA-BC
Ohio University School of Nursing, Ohio University, Athens, OH
Christina Nyirati, RN, APN, PhD
School of Nursing, Ohio University, Athens, OH

Learning Objective 1: Identify one educational mentoring strategy for Family Nurse Practitioner students in Appalachia.

Learning Objective 2: Identify one external influence on access to primary care in rural underserved Appalachia.

SignificanceA mentoring plan was developed for Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students in rural, underserved Appalachian states (Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky)) in response to a shortage of primary care providers in the rural Appalachian region.  This is one the first mentoring plans wherein Ohio University provides the clinical mentoring arrangements in rural practices and support mentoring in the FNP education curriculum for preparation of FNPs for a tri-state region.

Methodological Soundness: A collaborative model utilizing “Change Theory” was implemented in mentoring FNP students.  This model analyzed the need (systems), Structures (existing programs and availability of educational mentoring programs and mentors in Appalachian clinical sites), Processes (advance practice mentoring strategies in curriculum), Teaching & Mentoring Methods (curriculum), and Training (availability of Appalachian clinical sites/mentors, & preceptors/faculty).

Implementation: Implementation of this innovative educational model developed out of external influences: regional shortage of primary care providers in Appalachia, mentor/faculty shortage, lack of regional state mentoring programs FNP students in underserved Appalachia, and HP 2010 objectives. Internal Influences driving this innovation: leadership and changing value systems.  Educational leadership and was crucial in implementing this innovative model.  Change in health outcomes of infant mortality, access to quality care, diversity of FNP primary care work force, and FNP cultural competency and sensitivity were measured in this model utilizing the qualitative methods.

Outcomes: This is one of the first tri-state clinical mentoring programs for FNP students in underserved, rural Appalachia.  The model maximizes faculty and clinical site resources, increases numbers of primary care FNPs in Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky where primary care providers were unavailable and there was a critical shortage. This mentoring project reduces mortality and morbidity and increases diversity and cultural competency among FNP students in rural, underserved Appalachia.