Faculty Practice: A Long-standing Tradition at Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing has demonstrated its strong interest in faculty practice through a long history of large-scale implementation. Prior to 1991, the School of Nursing used shared salary contacts to place nurse practitioners and other advanced practice nurses in collaborative practices with physicians and within agencies. The type of practice ranged from mental health services to primary care to management positions within healthcare institutions. These practice roles were integrated with the traditional academic responsibilities expected of nursing school faculty. Workload was distributed among teaching, practice and research. There were, in addition, contracts between the Vanderbilt School of Nursing and two tertiary medical centers for nurse researcher positions.
Beginning in 1991, Vanderbilt School of Nursing secured Kellogg Funding to start a nurse managed primary care and mental health center in an urban underserved community within Nashville. That clinic became and remains the largest practice affiliated clinical operation for the School of Nursing. In 1999, nurse-midwifery services were added. In the early months of TennCare, the state’s Medicaid managed care program started in 1994, the original clinic managed a population of about 5000 patients.
In 1996, the School of Nursing established its first school-based practice at a K-6 school located near the Vine Hill Clinic. This school-based clinic functions as a satellite of the clinic, and care is coordinated between the clinic Primary Care Practitioners and the school-based Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner faculty. A second clinic (K-4) was added in 1997. Both sites serve children with chronic health, mental health and developmental conditions, including asthma, ADHD, depression, diabetes, sickle cell disease, seizure disorders, hemophilia, congenital heart diseases, CP and immune system disorders. Grant funding underwrites some, but not all, costs associated with the school-based health program.
Today, Vanderbilt School of Nursing students often work alongside practicing faculty in these clinical settings to gain hands-on experience in delivering health care services and patient care. Practicing faculty demonstrate first-hand that Vanderbilt is committed to bridging its long-standing tradition of excellence in practice with seeking new, innovative ways to improve health care outcomes – always putting the patient first in all that we do.