Minnesota Nursing magazine
New NP clinic to expand primary care access, student opportunities
As Jane Anderson, DNP, APRN, ANP-C, FNP-C, and team prepare to open the next Nurse Practitioners Clinic in the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center, they are facing some of the same challenges they encountered when the school opened its NP clinic near U.S. Bank Stadium three years ago.
“I’m not sure patients come in fully understanding what a nurse practitioner is,” said Anderson, clinic director and a clinical assistant professor at the School of Nursing. “And I think patients also struggle with the concept of primary care and what services are provided.”
Fortunately, Anderson has found that once patients experience primary care from a nurse practitioner it often sparks a trusted relationship that leads to better health.
“Because of our nursing background, NPs are focused on the whole person, treating the patient from all perspectives — physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual,” she said.
Anderson, who was the first NP in the Fairview system 27 years ago, believes the foundation of nursing drives NPs to give patients the individualized tools they need to best take care of themselves.
She has also found that NPs have become comfortable with their scope and patients have learned that the clinic is a place where they can come for most of their health care needs. If a concern or condition arises that can’t be addressed in the clinic, an NP can easily refer the patient to the appropriate specialist.
Benefits of NP clinics extend beyond patient care
While helping to address the primary care crisis affecting the health care system, Anderson said the NP clinics also provide a teaching and learning environment for both faculty and students. It also offers opportunities for leadership managing a health care business.
“With the clinic, students can get to see the business of health care, why we care about costs, operations and systems and workflows,” she said.
Having a pharmacist from the School of Pharmacy at the M Health Nurse Practitioners Clinic offers DNP students a closer look at interprofessional health care and has even sparked collaborative projects.
Anderson expects the new location, with many specialties onsite, will provide an enhanced environment for furthering interprofessional collaboration and education.
“It’s going to be an amazing opportunity for our faculty and students. Working with our physician partners from M Health, UMP and Fairview will create a greater understanding of who NPs are, what we do and elevate our partnership,” she said.
The Nurse Practitioners Clinic in the M Health Clinics and Surgery Center will open at 909 Fulton St. SE. The M Health Nurse Practitioners Clinic at 814 S. 3rd St. is currently seeing patients Monday through Friday.