Effort seeks to increase the number of trained rheumatology nurse practitioners and physician assistants

April 19, 2018, Wiley

Due to an aging population and increasing prevalence of rheumatic disease, there are growing demands on clinicians who specialize in rheumatology. To meet these demands, the American College of Rheumatology has developed a formal curriculum for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs). The curriculum is described in Arthritis Care & Research.

The development of a formal NP/PA curriculum outline in rheumatology is novel and can serve as a tool when adding NPs/PAs into clinical rheumatology practice. No other medical specialty has yet created an endorsed, standardized training tool that can aid in the preparation of NPs/PAs in a medical specialty.

"The Rheumatology Curriculum Outline is a practical tool that can be utilized in various adult and pediatric practice settings," said lead author Benjamin J. Smith, of Florida State University College of Medicine School of Physician Assistant Practice. "We anticipate that it will be used broadly to positively affect rheumatology workforce challenges."

Explore further: Studies reveal looming shortage of rheumatologists

More information: Benjamin J. Smith et al, Core Curriculum to Facilitate the Expansion of a Rheumatology Practice to Include Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants, Arthritis Care & Research (2018). DOI: 10.1002/acr.23546

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