Cooper University Health Care recently became the first hospital in New Jersey, and part of a small, select group of academic medical centers in the nation, to launch a Center for Advanced Practice (CAP) to promote and support the role of advanced practice providers in the health care continuum.
Advanced practice providers (APPs) are licensed health care professionals who work collaboratively with physicians and the care team. They comprise physician assistants/associates, nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse midwives. APPs are prepared through advanced education, clinical training, and licensing and board certification to provide a wide range of preventive, acute, and chronic health care services to individuals of all ages.
“Advanced practice providers are an integral part of the health care team at Cooper, and more than 500 APPs currently practice in numerous specialties across the health system, providing nearly 230,000 patient visits this year alone,” Eileen Campbell, chief advanced practice provider, who leads the new center. “Cooper’s Center for Advanced Practice will not only provide a coordinated platform to support our current APPs through professional development and other initiatives, but will also enhance recruitment and retention efforts, improve quality, and help standardize and expand access to care, which ultimately benefits patients.”
As the population ages and consumer demands for high-quality health care grows, the role of APPs has expanded across the health care spectrum – in medical practices, hospitals, surgery centers, retail clinics, and urgent care centers across the country.
“We are proud of the incredible contributions made by our APPS, who work within nearly every department at Cooper,” Dr. Eric Kupersmith, chief physician executive at Cooper said. “Evidence has clearly shown that this growing work force helps organizations drive improvement in quality, safety, and efficiency, resulting in better outcomes and higher patient experience. By working collaboratively with physicians and other team members, patients are provided better access to care and continuity, demonstrating outstanding results.”
“Cooper’s CAP will also provide valuable support to our registered nurses who desire to expand their knowledge and clinical scope of practice through professional development and advanced studies to become APPs,” Kathy Devine, senior vice president and chief nursing executive at Cooper said. “Our current APPs will serve as mentors and provide guidance and leadership for newly licensed practitioners and those pursuing new careers.”
Cooper currently provides wide range of professional development programs, including an annual symposium, for all APPs in the region.