Health Team

Duke gains key role in nurse training under health reform law

Posted July 30, 2012

— Duke University Hospital will be on the front lines of the nation's health care reform effort by training nurses to meet the increased demand for primary and preventive care, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday.

Duke Hospital is one of five hospitals nationwide that will share in $200 million in federal funding over four years to train more advanced practice registered nurses. The APRN group includes nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives.

"With today's investment, we'll put more nurses on the ground in communities across the country, shortening waiting lists for appointments, (boosting) community health centers, decreasing delays from discharging patients from hospitals," Sebelius said at a Durham news conference.

The other four hospitals in the initiative are the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center in Scottsdale, Ariz., Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Hospital in Houston.

Duke plans to double the number of APRNs it trains, with 216 more enrolled by 2016. Officials estimate it will cost about $49,000 a year to provide the graduate education for each nurse practitioner.

“The complexity of the challenge to make care more accessible and affordable, while enhancing quality, is exacerbated by the continuing decline in the number of primary care physicians and the expected influx of patients into the health care system as a result of health care reform," Dr. Victor Dzau, president and chief executive of Duke University Health System, said in a statement.

The funding will open up more clinical training opportunities for APRNs. In the project, half of the training is required in non-hospital settings to give the nurses needed skills in primary care, preventive care and the chronic care management, officials said.

Nurses training at Duke will work at sites that collaborate with Duke’s network of community clinics, three community hospitals and affiliated primary care practices, as well as Duke's School of Medicine and the School of Nursing.

The nurses will then help fill gaps in community-based settings nationwide, including in under-served rural and inner-city areas.

"This will have a big impact, especially in states like North Carolina, which contains both the rural and urban communities that we know suffer most from lack of access to care," Sebelius said.


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  • kermit60 Jul 31, 2012

    I thought this wasn't going to cost us working people?
    The 200 million wasn't cash back from some government credit card.

  • Geez Louise Jul 31, 2012

    "It's patients fault. If it wasn't for people who treat their bodies like dumpsters, most of the hospitals would be looking for people to treat. Keep eating all those Whoppers and washing it down with a milk shake."

    --You hit the nail right on the head!!!

  • whatelseisnew Jul 31, 2012

    "Perfect example here of a Government Handout that the Tea Party is just fine with."

    Where do you get that assumption. So far as I know the tea party does not support the not affordable health care act. Here is a classic example of the government adding 200 million in costs to your health care. If a person wants to be a nurse, fine, that person should pay for the training they need in order to obtain that job.

  • ss3510 Jul 31, 2012


    It's 'borrowed money' because of the Bush Tax Cuts
    It ain't 'socialist medicine' when you recieve Medicare though is it?

    Have you just realized America is a country that has 'social concerns'?????

    We've been that way since 1776!

  • ss3510 Jul 31, 2012

    DUKE is getting FEDERAL MONEY to train nurses. DUKE doesn't need the money. Isn't Duke's job to educate people?

    Perfect example here of a Government Handout that the Tea Party is just fine with.

  • boneymaroney13 Jul 31, 2012

    How are "WE" going to pay for this. With that obama health care nonsense???

  • boneymaroney13 Jul 31, 2012

    I pay for a doctor, I want to see a doctor!!! Nothing against nurses. They are the front line of defense. But, . . . . .

  • Diva RN Jul 31, 2012

    Forget about cost, forget about politics. There are not enough students going into medicine, and of those that do, there are not enough specializing in family practice or general medicine. It just doesn't pay as well as some of the specialties like Orthopaedics or ENT. So consider this as well as baby boomers aging and starting to use more health care resources (as well as baby boom doctors starting to retire) and physician extenders such as NP's, PA's, midwives, etc., are needed or you will be waiting a LONG time to see an MD for that sore throat or infected hangnail or whatever.

  • meeper Jul 30, 2012

    A ploy to try to win support for Chairman Obama's socialist medicine and win support for reelection three months away from November. What a coincidence it was announced now.
    The people at Duke and the voters of this state need to remember that this 200 million is borrowed money that your children and grandchildren will have to pay back. The government doesn't have any money regardless of what Sebelius and the other socialist in this administration are telling you. They are driving our economy in to the ground with their wreckless spending.

  • miseem Jul 30, 2012

    I'm all in favor of this. Nurse Practitioners have years of education and experience and have doctors available for consultation if needed. You don't get a discount now, but you would be slapped with much higher costs if everyone with a sore throat had to see a doctor. Let's see, which would be more expensive - a 5 MD group hiring 3 NPs, or having to take on 3 more MDs. Just as a GP will refer on to a specialist when indicated, a NP will refer on to a MD in their practice or a specialist outside. Who does most of the history and initial check up now? If you are in the hospital, who is actually monitoring you? Not the MD. Give the NP some credit. They know what they can handle and what needs to be passed up higher.