Author Archives: Lynne Dunphy

An Innovative Nurse Residency Program Will Get Aspiring Rhode Island Nurses into the Community

May 10, 2013, 10:00 AM, Posted by Lynne Dunphy

Lynne M. Dunphy, PhD, FNP, is the founding nurse co-lead of the Rhode Island Action Coalition and an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows program. She is a professor and associate dean of external affairs at the University of Rhode Island’s College of Nursing, where she also holds the Routhier Chair of Practice. This is part of a series of posts for National Nurses Week, highlighting how nurses are driving quality and innovation in patient care.

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At the University of Rhode Island, I teach a graduate course in health care policy. Rhode Island Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts recently spoke to my class about health reform, and I showed her around our college of nursing. As we walked through rooms with high-tech simulation equipment and other labs that imitate real-life practice, she raised a question that resonated with me: Are your students getting out into the community? This is where our health care needs of the future will be.

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So many of our nursing students want to go into acute care, and I am concerned that they have not had enough exposure to the entire health care system. The following questions keep coming to mind:

  • Do they learn enough about all the settings they could work in?
  • Do they understand what their responsibilities and day-to-day activities would be in various settings, such as in a community health center or long-term care facility?
  • Do they understand how to implement population-based care?  
  • Are they ready for the challenging work of visiting patients in home care settings?  
  • Are they truly prepared?

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