Doctor of Nursing Practice Program

Genetics Fellowship for Family Nurse Practitioners

The Doctor of Nursing Practice Genetics Fellowship for Family Nurse Practitioners combines a 2-year post-master’s DNP curriculum with a 2-year paid fellowship in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine. This program is a joint effort between the Schools of Nursing (Doctor of Nursing Practice {DNP} Program) and Medicine (Division of Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine) at Vanderbilt University.

The goal of the fellowship program is to prepare practice scholars to become leaders in bringing evidence-based knowledge into clinical practice, improve health care outcomes and strengthen nursing management and education with an emphasis in clinical genetics, medical genomics, metabolic disorders and newborn screening.

Doctor of Nursing Practice Genetics Fellows are hired for employment by the Department of Pediatrics simultaneous with admission to the DNP program. Application must be made for both academic admission and employment to be considered for the Fellowship. Fellows are hired as faculty members in the School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine and assigned to clinical, research and practice activities that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of genetic and/or metabolic disorders that affect infants, children and/or adults. Fellows are expected to work 40 hours per week in their assigned area where they will interact with faculty physicians, faculty and nurse practitioners, physician residents and fellows, registered nurses, dieticians, genetic counselors, PhD geneticists, and other members of the interdisciplinary genetics/genomic team. Genetics Fellows have the same clinical responsibilities as faculty nurse practitioners within the Genetics Division. Daily patient care provides fellows the opportunity to advance their skills, experience, understanding and intellectual background needed to care for patients with genetic or metabolic disorders. The fellow provides care for assigned patients, participates in research and teaching activities related to genetic and/or metabolic disorders, attends didactic conferences, receives practice mentorship, leads academic case discussions and presents at clinical conferences.

Concurrent with the clinical genetics nurse practitioner role, the Fellow is enrolled as a graduate student in the DNP program. Required DNP practice hours are accrued in the employment setting focusing on competencies as set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF). Central to the DNP curriculum is the application of evidence-based practice methods within the practice setting throughout the program of study. Students must complete 35 credits of course work at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing designed to enhance the students’ knowledge of informatics, epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy, quality and safety, economics and finance, and organization and systems management in order to bridge the gap between new evidenced-based knowledge and clinical care. In addition to the DNP curriculum the Fellowship provides the student with learning activities about frequency, prevalence, newborn screening and diagnosis and treatment of genetic and/or metabolic disorders; population genetics and public health. Five hundred hours of clinical integration and completion of a scholarly project are also required. Doctor of Nursing Practice students attend an intensive on-campus experience for approximately one week each semester as part of the DNP program of study. In addition, four credits of elective hours which emphasize understanding and application of genetic principles to newborn population and carrier screening, patient management and integration of DNP competencies will be offered by the School of Nursing and School of Medicine Genetics faculty and broadly covers the clinical, cognitive and evidence-based practice components essential to interdisciplinary collaboration in the care of this patient population. The DNP Genetics NP Fellowship provides mentored clinical practice in a setting that serves as the region’s primary center for a broad spectrum of genetic and metabolic disorders that affect infants, children and/or adults combined with doctoral educational opportunities. Admission as a DNP Genetics NP Fellow is dependent on position availability.

The terminal objectives of the DNP program are to produce a practice scholar who will be able to:

  • Assess, analyze, evaluate, and manage complex health environments serving diverse populations to improve patient and population health outcomes;
  • Apply clinical scholarship and available evidence to make clinical and system decisions that reflect professional values and ethical standards;
  • Develop, test, and disseminate standards of care, clinical practice models and health policy using informatics, organizational and systems leadership skills;
  • Advocate for clinical prevention, population health initiatives and evidence-based health policy through collaboration with other professionals and stakeholders.

 The objectives specific to the DNP Genetics NP Fellowship facilitate development of broad genetic and metabolic disorders expertise and prepare the Fellow to:

  • Develop genetic and metabolic expertise regarding diagnosis and treatment of genetic and/or metabolic disorders based on established and evolving biomedical, clinical, and cognate sciences in medical genetics
  • Provide patient care for genetic and metabolic disorders that affect infants, children and/or adults
  • Improve health care outcomes and strengthen nursing management and education emphasizing clinical genetics, medical genomics, metabolic disorders and newborn screening.

The practice immersion experience achieved via the Genetic NP employment provides the setting in which the terminal objectives and the DNP competencies are achieved with special emphasis on genetics.

 Requirements:

  • MSN/FNP completed prior to August of admitting year.
  • Eligible for NP/RN licensure in the state of TN.
  • Students with education or experience in genetics and/or the care of individuals with acute and chronic illnesses are preferred.

Family Nurse Practitioners currently employed and practicing as NPs within Vanderbilt University Medical Center may be eligible for admission to the DNP Genetics NP Fellowship.

Application Process

Two applications are required; one for the DNP program and one for employment at Vanderbilt University in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics and Genomic Medicine. Applicants must meet criteria for acceptance to the DNP program and the Fellowship and hired for employment at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After review, acceptable applicants will be interviewed.

Contact

For more information about the genetics fellowship, contact Dr. Laurie Connors or Dr. Terri Allison.